A nurse who was accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from an elderly couple could serve two days in jail as part of a plea agreement.

Amy McLellan, 61, pleaded guilty Friday to one felony count of misuse of entrusted property. The court will lower the conviction to a misdemeanor in one year if she does not have new criminal conduct and complies with a list of conditions.

If she violates those conditions, she will be sentenced for the felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. If she does not, she will spend 48 hours in jail for the misdemeanor.

Defense attorney Kristine Hanly released a statement Monday written by McLellan. She said it was her dream to open a senior housing community, and she believed David and Francis Fratus were giving her a loan. The McLellan opened in Brunswick in 2017.

“Had we gone to trial, I believe I would have shown that there was never any intent to deprive the Fratuses of their money, rather that my belief was that David and Fran were investing in our joint vision for the McLellan,” she wrote. “However, I view this resolution as a compromise that allows all parties to move forward.”

The prosecutor from the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a voicemail Monday.


McLellan was indicted last year on felony counts of theft and misuse of entrusted property of a vulnerable person.

She is a registered nurse with an active license from the Maine State Board of Nursing. In 2016, she purchased a former nursing home on Cumberland Street in Brunswick and renovated it to become assisted living for people 62 years and older. The building has 18 apartments in addition to an owner’s residence. McLellan told The Times Record in a 2016 interview that she would be the resident nurse on the property.

An affidavit states McLellan befriended David and Francis Fratus when he was a patient at the hospital where she worked, and she later visited them in rehabilitation facilities and at their condo in Auburn. In April 2016, David Fratus executed a general power of attorney naming McLellan as his agent. Their attorney told investigators that he had never been consulted about that decision, the affidavit says, and the couple themselves could not later remember the circumstances.

Over the next 16 months, bank records showed that the Fratuses gave McLellan more than $324,000 from their savings bonds and bank accounts. Even if some of that money was related to fees at the McLellan, where the couple moved in May 2017, the affidavit states that the unexplained transfers amounted to 60 percent of their total assets.

Police executed a search warrant at the McLellan in October 2017, and they moved David and Frances Fratus out of the complex that same day.

Last year, McLellan also settled a lawsuit with David and Frances Fratus. Hanly disclosed for the first time Monday that McLellan paid them $240,000 in January 2018. She also agreed to a promissory note of $100,000 that would be paid back starting next year, but made that payment in full last week, Hanly said.


“The Fratuses have been paid the remainder of the civil judgment that otherwise allowed for installment payments to start next year,” McLellan wrote in her statement. “It has now been more than two years since the transactions in question and it is important to me to bring closure to this chapter of my history for myself and for the residents of The McLellan.”

McLellan said she is accepting responsibility for accepting money from someone for whom she also held power of attorney. The terms of her plea agreement include new policies for the McLellan. Staff will not be allowed to accept gifts more than $250 without a review by an attorney, and no employees there will be allowed to become power of attorney for residents. The McLellan will also have a financial audit ever six months.

A group of residents and friends attended the arraignment last year to show support for McLellan, who still owns and operates the housing complex. Hanly has offered to meet with residents if they want to talks about the case.

“Although it was painful for me to enter a plea of guilty, resolving this matter in the least disruptive manner to Fran Fratus and to the residents of the McLellan is my highest priority,” McLellan said. “I am confident that the transparency required by the Court will show the McLellan in its best light.”

The Bangor Daily News reported one of the victims has passed away since the case began.

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