Police say Washington County woman scammed $310,000 out of 82-year-old

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A Washington County woman was arrested Tuesday after police said she took about $310,000 from an 82-year-old woman she met through a church, District Attorney Eugene Vittone announced in a press release.

Goldie C. Fields, 42, of Smith met the woman in May 2010, after a church connected the two because Ms. Fields was in need of financial assistance, James McElhaney, Washington County chief detective, wrote in a criminal complaint. The woman was not identified in the complaint.

Initially, the woman provided Ms. Fields with small amounts of cash but began writing her checks, at which point Ms. Fields asked that the funds be in cash, the complaint states.

Ms. Fields said she would pay the woman back but that she would lose her job if the woman didn't pay for her to obtain a nursing certification, Detective McElhaney wrote.

“Fields told the victim that unless the victim paid for schooling, [Ms.] Fields would never be able to pay her back what she owed her,” he wrote.

The woman told police she was “too ashamed and embarrassed and afraid” to tell her family and believed Ms. Fields would repay her.

When Ms. Fields met with police in April, she admitted to telling the woman she needed the money to “better herself,” Detective McElhaney wrote. She denied receiving $310,000, but said it was between $80,000 and $90,000, he wrote.

Ms. Fields faces a felony count each of theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception, court records show. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday.

Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc. First Published June 17, 2014 10:04 PM

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