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Woman gets probation for swindling senior citizen

A West Duluth woman, who swindled over $60,000 from an elderly woman suffering from dementia, has been ordered to stay away from all elderly people. Vickie Ann Boutain, 35, was sentenced Friday in St. Louis County District Court by Judge Heather ...

A West Duluth woman, who swindled over $60,000 from an elderly woman suffering from dementia, has been ordered to stay away from all elderly people. Vickie Ann Boutain, 35, was sentenced Friday in St. Louis County District Court by Judge Heather Sweetland to one year and one day in jail, 10 years probation and six months in the sentence to serve program.
The jail time was stayed under the condition that Boutain abide by the terms of her probation which include attending weekly gamblers anonymous meetings, staying out of all gambling establishments and having no contact with non-family members over the age of 65.
Prior to imposing the sentence, Judge Sweetland looked Boutain in the eye and said, "I don't know any other way to say this, but you are a dangerous person to elderly adults."
Sweetland didn't buy defense counsel Wesley Martins' argument that Boutain, who suffers from a learning disability, didn't have the mental wherewithal to orchestrate the crime. He called it a crime of opportunity. "I find there is a degree of sophistication in the way this money was taken," Sweetland said. "It was taken a number of ways, and all of them were wrong."
Judith Sievers, Rose Rosa's niece and conservator, had wanted jail time added to Boutain's sentence, but was happy with the requirement that Boutain stay away from the elderly. "I was very happy about that," Sievers said. "That was probably the best thing (the judge) could have said. It made me very pleased. There are too many vulnerable victims not only in Duluth but wherever she (Boutain) goes. That's the bottom line."
"I just don't want her doing the same thing to somebody else," said Peter Kulczyk, Sievers' brother, who still felt some jail would have been appropriate. "I'm not sure (Boutain) will understand how severe this is without sitting in jail," Kulczyk said. "But maybe some of it will come across to her. I hope it does."
Sweetland took a number of documents indicating the total amount taken surpassed $60,000. After reviewing the information, she'll order restitution.
According to the police report, the theft took place on several occasions between April 1997 and April 1998. Rosa would give Boutain money to pay her bills. Boutain kept the money herself and wrote out bogus receipts. During arguments in court Friday, defense attorney Martins said that 99.9 percent of the money went into gambling.

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