There’s no doubt that fraud erodes trust, especially when it involves our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. An article posted on WTSP.com tells about the charges filed against a woman who allegedly stole the identity of at least 10 patients who lived at the assisted-living facility she owned operated with an expired license.
There are many people who trust hired caregivers to watch out for loved ones who are elderly, physically disabled or have special needs. (Many of the patients often receive government benefits that help lessen the cost of their care.) The story in today’s ”Fraud of the Day” follows a Cuban-American woman who bought the assisted-living facility, then relied upon word-of-mouth to advertise her business that gained popularity amongst other Cuban-American families in the St. Petersburg area.
Problems arose after the daughter of a former resident became suspicious and reported to authorities that there may be a connection between the assisted-living facility and $5,000 worth of charges to her deceased mother’s credit card. (The card was allegedly used at 20 different locations to buy gift cards, food items and home goods.)
Following the report, local authorities raided and shut down the assisted-living facility and arrested the 43-year-old-owner. She is charged with the fraudulent use of a credit card, fraudulent use of personal information and operating an unlicensed assisted-living facility. (Ironically, her boyfriend was arrested on similar charges in Sarasota. Investigators are trying to determine a link between the two cases, if any.) It is important to note that the defendant has merely been accused; she is presumed innocent and entitled to her day in court.
Following the shut-down of the assisted-living facility, six residents were forced to find another place to live. (This type of event makes life tough for vulnerable citizens and their families who trust that they are being handled with the utmost care.) Although the case is still pending, the residents at the facility had their lives uprooted. Based on the allegations alone, it is likely their trust has been eroded, and they and their families may watch their next facility with a more skeptical eye.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled ”Assisted-living Facility Owner Charged with Fraud,” written by Eric Glasser and posted on WTSP.com on July 28, 2015.
St. Petersburg, Florida Police raided and shut down an assisted-living facility Access Adult Family Care Home on Tuesday.
Investigators accuse the operator of the facility of committing fraud against at least one of its former residents, stealing their identity, and then charging thousands of dollars on a fake credit card.