INDIAN RIVER SHORES, Fla. — A pair of certified nursing assistants in Florida used their patients' money to rent a Rolls-Royce, book cruises and get plastic surgery, authorities say.
Indian River Shores Public Safety investigators also said the women persuaded the patients to allow them to open credit cards in their names with an unlimited line of credit.
Chiquita McGee, 29, and Sophia Shephard, 30, racked up more than $400,000 in charges on the cards for cosmetic dental work, plastic surgery, cruises, jewelry, clothing and an engine for one of their cars, detectives said.
A Rolls-Royce Ghost, rented for five days, put $5,000 on the credit cards, police said.
The four-month investigation wrapped up Tuesday when detectives went to the Vero Beach homes of Shephard and McGee with search warrants.
Along with checks stolen by the women, detectives said the fraud added up to more than $543,000.
The women were charged with scheme to defraud, organized fraud and exploitation of the elderly and taken to the Indian River County Jail. They were being held late Tuesday without bail.
If convicted of the three felonies, each suspect could face up to 60 years in prison, Indian River Shores’ Public Safety Chief Rich Rosell said.
“I’ve seen fraud cases like this before, but not for $500,000,” Rosell said. “For a little town like Indian River Shores, something like this is unheard of.”
McGee and Shephard had been employed through Indian River Home Health Care in Vero Beach to provide home care for two residents on John's Island.
The victims' family reported the suspected fraud to the Florida Department of Health, which notified the police, Rosell said.
During the investigation, the health care company fired both nursing assistants, Indian River Shores Public Safety officials said. One of the patients died during the investigation, investigators said.
Story courtesy of wusa9.com.