Crime

Sheriff: Sarasota home health aide purchases nearly $5,000 in gift cards with dementia patient's credit card

SARASOTA -- A Sarasota home health aide has been arrested after investigators say she used a credit card belonging to the 91-year-old woman she was caring for to purchase nearly $5,000 in various gift cards, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

Megan Craig, 25, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with exploitation of the elderly for less than $10,000. She was released from the Sarasota County jail on a $1,500 bond.

The victim's daughter-in-law reported the fraud to Youthful Aging, the Sarasota company contracted to provide the victim with a home health aide, and to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office when she noticed the victim's credit card was being charged for more than just groceries and medicine.

Since the fall of 2013, Craig had been caring for the victim, who suffers from dementia. Investigators were provided with copies of the transactions between May and August 2014.

Early on, Craig would take the victim to the store to purchase groceries and pick up prescriptions but over time she began using the card herself and signing for purchases. Eventually, Craig began going to the store without the victim but she was only authorized to purchase groceries and medication, according to the sheriff's office.

Craig refused to speak with detectives on the case, according to the sheriff's office.

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