FORT LAUDERDALE -- A West Palm Beach caretaker has been arrested on accusations of stealing nearly $122,000 from a 93-year-old woman and adding herself to her will, authorities said Friday.
Deborah Raing, 62, was arrested Thursday and charged with grand theft from a person over 65 years old, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office said.
Raing allegedly took advantage of her client’s poor eyesight and had her sign documents giving Raing power of attorney and access to her three bank accounts, according to a West Palm Beach police arrest report.
The elderly woman told investigators she thought she was signing checks to pay for utility bills, personal needs and other authorized purchases.
She trusted Raing because she was a family friend and daughter of one of her best friends.
The caretaker is accused of draining the woman’s life savings during a two-year period, starting in 2008, the report states.
It was in February 2010 that a bank manager alerted state authorities to suspicious activity in one of the victim’s accounts.
The Florida Department of Children and Families investigated the case with police and questioned Raing and the victim.
Raing withdrew thousands of dollars from her accounts and signed checks to pay others, the report said.
One of those people receiving payments from the caretaker was a reverend at her church, the report said. Rev. Robert Felder made simple home repairs for the victim, and she was under the impression that he was doing them as charity.
She didn’t know Raing ended up paying him more than $15,000 for ten repairs.
It is not clear which church the woman attended.
Raing is also accused of having the elderly woman sign a will, which would giver her much of her property.
In an interview with police, Raing denied the allegations and said her client wanted her to to take over the financial decisions and knew what she was signing.
Raing was booked at the Palm Beach County jail Thursday and released Friday on a $15,000 bond.