Relatives of a hard-of-hearing, legally blind 80-year-old widower with dementia were arrested Friday after a six-month investigation revealed that they misappropriated at least $870,000 of his money, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
The man’s daughter, Cynthia Lane Thomas, 58; her husband, Richard Henry Thomas, 57; and Richard Thomas’ son, Richard Aaron Thomas, 33, were jailed on charges of exploitation of an elderly person and first-degree grand theft.
Caregiver sentenced to probation in theft from elderly Spring Hill man
BROOKSVILLE — A woman accused of stealing roughly $25,000 from an elderly man in her care was sentenced Friday to five years of probation.
Joy Serini, 40, pleaded no contest to one count of exploitation of the elderly. Hernando County Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti departed from the minimum guideline of 21 months in state prison on the condition Serini pay back the money prosecutors say she stole from a 91-year-old Spring Hill man who suffered from dementia.
Serini is required to pay at least $400 a month, said Assistant State Attorney Rob Lewis. She faces up to 15 years in prison if she violates the terms of her probation.
Serini, who was arrested in November and now lives in Pasco County, was serving as an informal caregiver for the man and stole the money by making fraudulent check, debit card and credit card transactions, according to the Hernando Sheriff’s Office. Detectives say Serini’s husband, roommate and one of her close friends all told investigators she was using the man’s checks and cards to make purchases for herself and withdraw money from his account at ATMs.
“Though we believe at trial we would have shown she was not guilty of stealing that much money, we felt it was in her best interest to accept the deal as offered,” said Assistant Public Defender Dave Bauer.
Caregiver sentenced to probation in theft from elderly Spring Hill man 08/09/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 9, 2013 http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/caregiver-sentenced-to-probation-in-theft-from-elderly-spring-hill-man/2135727
PUNTA GORDA, FL –
Police say a caregiver in Punta Gorda used credit cards and checks from her elderly patient to steal over $10,000.After months in the hospital, 80-year-old Deloris Surgeon is happy to be home. “I could be better, but I feel good,” she admits. While she was in the hospital late last year, her family noticed something strange. “We found the receipts and saw there were lots of charges on my grandmother’s credit card,” explains Dawn Croy, Surgeon’s granddaughter. Croy was always a little suspicious of her grandmother’s caretaker, Teresa Shelton. Shelton knew the family through church and moved in last October to help around the house. She wasn’t an employee for a home health agency.
“She had a lot of my grandmother’s credit cards and she was probably going on a shopping spree,” Croy speculates. She found out Shelton had written herself checks from Surgeon’s bank account. She even opened a credit card account in Surgeon’s name.Police believe she used multiple credit cards spending more than $10,000 on TVs, gas and other items.”She took advantage of my grandmother’s trust. That’s what’s most upsetting,” Croy says.The Punta Gorda Police Department found Shelton on surveillance footage making several transactions with the victim’s credit card. “Unfortunately, there are some people who prey on the elderly,” Lt. Jim Kirdy points out.According to the Department of Elder Affairs, 16 percent of elder abuse cases in Florida last year involved similar exploitation.Croy also thinks Shelton was stealing her grandmother’s prescription drugs and replacing them with over the counter medicine, which may have led to Surgeon’s recent health issues. Shelton turned herself in Wednesday. She told authorities she is addicted to prescription drugs and was using the money to support that habit.
The 33-year-old is in jail facing 12 felony and one misdemeanor charges. Police say more could be coming. http://www.nbc-2.com/story/21087694/former-caregiver-arrested-on-fraud-and-theft-charges
Cops say caregiver swindled woman, 73
November 17, 2005|By Kristen Reed, Sentinel Staff Writer
A caregiver with a history of abuse is accused of swindling a disabled Port Orange woman of nearly $400,000 and neglecting her care, authorities said Wednesday.
Sheriff’s investigators arrested Sandra Cooper on Tuesday on charges of exploitation and neglect of an elderly person. The 56-year-old is on probation stemming from a Seminole County elderly-abuse case, officials said. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2005-11-17/news/VEXPLOITATION17_1_visit-fox-cooper-elderly
October 30, 2014 7:50 PM
By Gal Tziperman Lotan Orlando Sentinel contact the reporter
A man who noticed bruises on his father, a nursing home resident with dementia, set up a hidden camera and caught two employees hitting him, a Winter Haven police spokeswoman said.
Two certified nursing assistants at Palm Garden nursing home, 28-year-old Yashika Jones and 35-year-old Rose Blaise, were charged with battery of a person more than 65 years old.
Jones, Blaise, and four other workers were suspended without pay, said Jeff Bomberger, chief operating officer of Palm Healthcare Management, which manages the Winter Haven facility.
“Upon the completion of this investigation and the satisfaction of all legal and law enforcement issues, we will determine and enact any necessary changes to prevent such actions from ever occurring again,” Bomberger said in a statement.
The nursing home resident, 76, is diagnosed with dementia and psychosis, according to affidavits in the case. The man’s son placed a hidden camera pointed at his bed after noticing bruises on his arms and legs, police said.
On Oct. 7, video shows, Jones punched the air in front of the man’s face after he seemed to try and lunge forward as she and another employee repositioned him in his bed.
The following week, onOct. 16, the camera recorded Blaise and a second employee moving the man from a wheelchair to his bed.
The man was irritated, and Blaise appeared to kick or stomp on his legs or feet, according to her charging affidavit.
On Oct. 24, Jones and a third employee were changing the man’s clothes, police said. Jones grabbed the man’s wrists, and the two struggled. Jones ran to the foot of the bed and pinned down the man’s legs.
She then moved to his bedside, grabbed his wrist, and slapped his head, police said. The man tried to sit up, and Jones and the other employee ran away, police said.
Jones and Blaise are being held without bond.
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