AMESBURY - Accused of stealing thousand of dollars from a client with a mental disability, a former caretaker was ordered by a Newburyport District Court judge to repay her victim more than $5,000 in restitution. 

Melissa Allen, 32, of 111 North St., Methuen, pleaded guilty Thursday to larceny over $1,200 by single scheme and was sentenced to a year’s probation. During that time, she must pay $5,365 in restitution and not to work with anyone elderly or with a disability. 

According to court records, Allen was a program manager for Career Resources Corporation and was working at its Main Street facility taking care of clients. The Main Street home houses women with various levels of disabilities. Only one of the clients, who suffers from a rare genetic disease affecting her mental abilities, collected a regular paycheck. 

“Although (the victim) can sign her check and deposit slips, she is unable to complete them fully so relies on staff for assistance,” Amesbury police Officer Thomas Hanshaw wrote in his report. 

Over the course of 18 months from December 2016 to May 2018, Allen stole money from the woman’s bank account. Mostly, the money was stolen via check but on occasions, Allen would steal cash from the facility’s safe. 

Allen’s illegal activity was first suspected after her supervisor noticed she was living a lavish lifestyle for someone making $40,000 a year. Specifically, Allen had purchased a new car, wore nice clothes, visited a hair salon often and attended kickboxing classes, according to Amesbury police Det. Raymond Landry’s report. 

When the victim reported the loss of her money, Allen became a suspect. Allen denied any involvement when confronted by her boss.

Eventually, the company’s human resource director visited the Amesbury police station and spoke to Hanshaw. 

That prompted Landry to begin an investigation into Allen. Landry eventually traced the victim’s bank account to The Provident Bank and obtained records of withdrawals and deposits.

Those documents, plus allegations made by her boss, led police to charge Allen, according to Landry’s report. 

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached by email at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter: @drogers41008.