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Woman Sentenced For Draining Mother’s Retirement Account

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Sonora, CA– Kalene Chantel McMillan, a resident of Tuolumne City, California, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison for a series of thefts from her mother, Danielle Kissinger, that drained Ms. Kissinger’s entire retirement account. The sentencing was announced by Tuolumne County District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke on May 12, 2023.

Ms. Kissinger, a former firefighter in Tuolumne County, suffered a stroke in 2014, which required her to receive daily care. In 2020, she had money in a retirement account through Thrift Savings Plan that was in her name and collecting interest. In March 2021, McMillan’s grandmother and the power of attorney for Danielle learned that McMillan was expecting a large check. Joan Kissinger contacted a representative from Thrift Savings Plan and learned that the account, totaling over $108,000, had been drained in a series of withdrawals between January to August of 2020, all of which were traced to McMillan. A subsequent investigation by Tuolumne County Sheriff’s detectives uncovered that McMillan had been forging or altering checks, driver’s licenses, powers of attorney, and checks for COVID rent relief. Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter charged McMillan with eight felony counts of theft from an elder and 47 felony counts of identity theft.

Additionally, McMillan was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and child abuse when she was found living with one of the burglary suspects in a shed with her five-year-old child. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison for all her crimes and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of over $130,000 to her mother. With good time and work time credits in prison, McMillan could be released after serving about six years in prison.

During the sentencing, ADA Hovatter argued that this was one of the most egregious cases of financial elder abuse he had seen in over 22 years of filing these types of cases. Judge Laura Krieg observed that McMillan’s theft crimes showed she was very intelligent and that it was too bad she had not used her talents for a legitimate purpose. She also pointed out that taking all the money from her disabled mother’s account was terrible and that “children should take care of their elderly parents, not steal from them.”