June 25. 2013 6:47PM

Former Exeter Hospital nurse's aide pleads guilty in theft case

Union Leader Correspondent


BRENTWOOD — A former nurse’s aide from Exeter Hospital received a suspended county jail sentence after pleading guilty to forgery and receiving stolen property charges, stemming from her stealing $2,000 from an elderly North Hampton couple.

Valerie Trunfio, 37, of Hampton pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a felony count of forgery and a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property for having an oxygen monitor that belonged to the hospital.

Trunfio was sentenced to a 12-month jail term that was suspended so long as she remains on good behavior for two years.

She will be on probation for a year. Trunfio will have to perform 100 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to her victims, according to prosecutors. She will also be required to pay $2,000 in restitution to the couple.

Prosecutors say Trunfio wrote five checks to herself while caring for the couple last May.

The couple’s son reported to police that he reviewed his parent’s checkbook and found Trunfio was writing checks to herself. The checks were in addition to what his elderly mother had paid for her weekly services, according to a police affidavit.

Trunfio cashed five checks written during a 16-day period totaling $2,000, police said.

North Hampton police charged her following their investigation, which including collecting surveillance footage from local banks and copies of the checks.

Trunfio allegedly cashed the checks at banks in Hampton and North Hampton. Police obtained video footage from two Hampton banks showing Trunfio cashing the checks.

North Hampton Detective Peter Cormier and Hampton Detective Chris Gilroy interviewed Trunfio and confronted her with the surveillance footage and four of the signed checks.

Trunfio admitted to police she wrote out and signed the checks herself, claiming she was allowed to do so, Cormier said in a sworn affidavit. But her victims denied she had permission to write the checks, and also told police that Trunfio left behind an oxygen monitor at the home as well.

Exeter police matched the monitor’s serial number to the one found in North Hampton, police said. The monitor was previously in a section of the hospital where Trunfio worked, according to Cormier.