Brinnon woman expected to admit guilt in alleged theft of gold coins

Posted 6/18/22

A Brinnon woman accused of stealing 48 gold Krugerrand coins from the 84-year-old man she’d been working for as a caregiver is expected to reach a plea deal with Jefferson County …

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Brinnon woman expected to admit guilt in alleged theft of gold coins

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A Brinnon woman accused of stealing 48 gold Krugerrand coins from the 84-year-old man she’d been working for as a caregiver is expected to reach a plea deal with Jefferson County prosecutors.

Yolanda Noreen Thole, 57, was arrested in November and subsequently charged with first-degree theft from a vulnerable adult and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Thole had previously pleaded not guilty to the two felony charges.

During a pretrial hearing in Jefferson County Superior Court June 3, Thole’s attorney told the court the case would not be going to trial.

“This is a case that has reached resolution,” attorney Lillian Powers told Superior Court Judge Keith Harper.

A change-of-plea hearing has been set for June 24.

Thole had once worked for the alleged theft victim, a Brinnon resident, because he was unable to cook for himself and needed help.

While the man said he had once given two of his Krugerrands — 1-ounce coins minted in South Africa that are predominantly purchased by gold investors — to Thole, he later discovered four dozen Krugerrands were missing from the safe in his mobile home.

At the time of the theft, gold was worth $1,839 per ounce, putting the value of the lost coins at $88,272.

As the investigation continued, a detective discovered Thole had allegedly sold numerous gold coins to a precious metals shop in Port Hadlock, and the owner of the business provided invoices showing Thole had been paid $53,859 during nine sales between January 2019 and March 2020.

The detective later found another check for $9,500 to Thole from a gold dealer in Sequim from December 2019.

When confronted by the sheriff’s detective, Thole denied getting more than two coins from the victim, but then allegedly started to change her story repeatedly when shown evidence she had indeed sold coins to a local coin shop.

She claimed the victim’s wife had given her the coins before she died of cancer as payment of $88,000 for the care for her husband, and Thole said the man’s sister knew about it.

When contacted by a detective, however, the victim’s sister said she didn’t know anything about gold coins and that Thole had never said anything about her sister giving Thole anything.

Conviction of first-degree theft from a vulnerable adult can result in a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

First-degree trafficking in stolen property carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine upon conviction

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