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Court: Nurse did not take financial advantage of millionaire

Chicago-area nurse Mary Williams earned $459,000 in 2004 caring for an aging Highland Park millionaire and his wife. Her huge salary — and the fact that she possessed both a car and various works of art formerly owned by her employer — raised suspicions. Williams was accused of financial exploitation and criminal neglect of an elderly person.

Williams, a Registered Nurse who was one of six RNs hired by S. Edward Marder, cared for Marder and his wife from 1992 until his death in 2007. According to witnesses, Williams acted as a “head nurse” and also handled financial affairs for Marder after his wife’s death.

The prosecution contended that Williams took advantage of her position and her employer’s poor health and dementia. The defense, however, presented evidence that described Marder an alert, lucid and generous man who freely shared his money and possessions.

The court sided with the defense and cleared Williams of all charges on July 30.

Have you ever accepted a gift from a patient? Ever declined one? Why or why not?


Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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One Response to Court: Nurse did not take financial advantage of millionaire

  1. The newfound wealth of the nurse is a too-common event in elder care, but it doesn’t compare to what professionals (court-appointed fiduciaries in guardianships/conservatorships) will take from a ward’s assets, and then leave it to the Taxpayers to pick up the tab for their care when they are indigent and qualified for Medicaid.

    The defense’s position should have been tested by thorough medical testimony.

    I don’t believe the decision was correct.