Everett woman pleads guilty to stealing from disabled adults

EVERETT — An Everett woman faces up to nine months in jail for fleecing developmentally disabled adults who counted on her to pay their bills and buy groceries so they could stay in their homes.

Amanda Rios had twice indicated she planned to plead guilty to theft charges. The last time, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Teresa Cox advised Rios and her attorney that prosecutors would add charges and tack on aggravating factors if the case went to trial. If a jury found that the victims were particularly vulnerable or Rios abused her position of trust, she could have faced prison time.

Rios pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of first-degree theft and two counts of second-degree theft. The aggravating factors remain but because they weren’t part of a jury verdict, a sentencing judge can’t go outside the standard range.

Rios is scheduled to be sentenced in March. She remains out of custody.

The defendant was accused of bilking at least three clients out of nearly $9,000. The thefts left two clients without electricity.

Rios, 26, worked for Smithwright Services, a Lynnwood nonprofit that advertises supportive services for adults with developmental disabilities. Rios was hired as a manager in May 2014 and assigned to help pay clients’ bills and make sure they had necessities.

The administrator told an Everett detective that “their clients are not mentally capable of doing any of this on their own,” Cox wrote in charging papers.

The missing money came to the attention of an agency administrator in late December 2014. Electricity had been shut off to a house where two clients lived and the cable and phone bills also hadn’t been paid.

Clients’ bank accounts had been overdrawn. Checks had been written on the accounts, but the clients never received any of the money or goods purchased. Two clients also were missing their state electronic benefits cards. A third woman, who lived at a different address, also had money taken from her bank account.

An audit of their bank accounts revealed that Rios had written checks to herself from the victims’ accounts, Cox wrote. She also used unauthorized checks at various stores, including Fred Meyer and Home Depot.

Rios was fired in late 2014. That didn’t stop her from stealing from clients. Police were told that when she was terminated, Rios didn’t have the company computer or clients’ checks with her. She was allowed to leave to retrieve the items. During those two hours, she wrote additional checks against clients’ accounts and withdrew money.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

Help for disabled victims of exploitation

If you know a senior or someone with disabilities who may be the victim of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, the state offers resources. For long-term care adults, call 800-562-6078. For all others, call 866-363-4276. Additional resources are available at the state attorney general’s website at www.atg.wa.gov/vulnerable-adult-abuse.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Garry Clark
Economic Alliance Snohomish County names new CEO

After nationwide search, Garry Clark, a Nebraska business advocate, will take the helm in February.

A Mob City jammer, "CMonster," skates in a holiday scrimmage at the Everett Skate Deck on Dec. 9, 2018. An online fundraising effort has been started to help support the skating venue during the pandemic. (Anthony Floyd photo)
Skate Deck hopes to open for customers, not take donations

A roller skating coach has launched an online fundraiser, wants to help the place he fears may close.

The Lynnwood Link light rail extension breached the 25% milestone for construction in Mountlake Terrace shot on Wednesday December 16, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Sound Transit projects ahead could need another $11.5 billion

Costs for construction and property have soared as revenue dropped during the pandemic.

Man shoots alleged intruder in Everett

Police were investigating after a male was shot and hospitalized.

Marysville Pilchuck High School senior Katelyn Leary is a recipient of the 2020 Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement Award. (Marysville School District)
Marysville Pilchuck senior wins Bronze Cross achievement

Goodie bags in Granite Falls connect teacher with her students Missing the… Continue reading

Man and cat die in Everett apartment fire

Firefighters responded to a smoky second-story unit. A cigarette may have set a mattress on fire.

$300 unemployment supplement headed to bank accounts

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will be available for up to 11 weeks.

Scarcity of vaccine doses slows rollout in Snohomish County

Despite qualifying for the vaccine, people over age 65 may have to wait weeks for a shot.

Idamae Schack died Jan. 7 at age 102. She and her husband John Schack gave millions of dollars to support local arts and cultural organizations. The Schack Art Center is named in their honor. (Michael O'Leary/Herald file photo)
Idamae Schack, an angel of the arts in Everett, dies at 102

She and her husband John Schack donated millions of dollars to support cultural causes in Everett.

Most Read