A care worker from Corby stole cheques from elderly victims and passed them on to an accomplice to cash.
Tinotande Somanje, 23, of Carlisle Close, Corby, was employed by an agency to look after three elderly people in Corby and two in Gretton aged between 66 and 95.
Northampton Crown Court was told on Monday that she stole cheques from the five victims, which were cashed for amounts up to £3,480.
In total, the cashed cheques were valued at more than £18,000.
The victims have since been repaid.
The court was told that Sodje was a second year law student and that her conviction would most likely put paid to a career in law.
She was given a 16-month prison sentence by Recorder Adrienne Lucking.