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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A woman has sued a home health care agency for the alleged negligent hiring and supervision of a well-known con artist dubbed “The Sweetheart Swindler” with a long criminal history of stealing from the elderly dating back to the 1960s, according to a report from the Courthouse News (CN) Service.

Courthouse News reports plaintiff Rosa Rideout is suing Painesville, Ohio-based Nightingale Home Support for allegedly negligently hiring and supervising Tonya Weiss to provide in-home independent living services for Rideout in a complaint filed in the Court of Common Pleas for Lake County, Ohio.

Rideout claims the home health care agency did not conduct a background check before hiring Weiss, who allegedly stole personal and family belongings, transferred property titles, and took “unauthorized expenditures” from her bank account while working in Rideout’s home, Courthouse News reports.

Courthouse News reports Weiss served time in jails and state and federal prisons in Ohio and Florida. Rideout claims the criminal history of Weiss, now in her 70s, is so extensive that a “simple Google search” would have revealed enough damaging information to keep the home health care agency from hiring her.

A Columbus Dispatch story published in 2012 estimated that Weiss has stolen millions of dollars from elderly men and women in the past six decades, and that authorities have dubbed her “The Sweetheart Swindler” due to her reputation for befriending and stealing from elderly men looking for romance.

The Columbus Dispatch article also found that Weiss’ victims included elderly men and women who were sick, grieving, or lonely, and that her reputation as a swindler is so well-known that law enforcement officials use recordings of her voice taken during an investigation for their elder-abuse training programs.

Courthouse News Service is a nationwide news service for lawyers and the news media based in Pasadena, California. The story “Health Care Firm Hired Swindler for Elder Care” from Courthouse News Service is available at

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) reminds readers of this ESR News blog that any allegations made in a class action lawsuit are not proof that a business or person violated any law, rule, or regulation. There have been only allegations in the pleading stage and no factual adjudications.

More Information about Negligent Hiring from ESR

Negligent hiring is one of the fastest growing areas of employment litigation. Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), a leading global background screening company, offers employers more ESR News blogs about negligent hiring at

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