Caregiver steals $100,000 from elderly client
SARASOTA - A woman is arrested after stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a man she was supposed to be taking care of.
Deputies arrested 38-year-old Krystle McLeod after they discovered she had stolen more than one hundred thousand dollars from her elderly client.
“This actually happened over a period of about 18 months, so this was a lot of time this where woman was taking money from this gentleman. He’s 96-years-old and at the time completely incapacitated,” says Kaitlin Perez, Sarasota Sheriff's Public Information Officer.
Deputies say they began to investigate McLeod in August of 2018 when her client’s power of attorney discovered suspicious credit card transactions.
“That power of attorney started looking into the finances an over the period of about 18 months he learned that the defendant had stolen more than one hundred thousand dollars,” says Perez
This also isn’t McLeod first run in with the law; she has prior arrests for Child Neglect, Drug Possession, Resisting an officer and more.
According to the sheriff’s report McLeod is being held at the Sarasota County Jail and faces one felony charge of Grand Theft from a person 65 years or older.
Owner of ComeForCare Kelly Brown, a company that provides help to the elderly, says she was appalled when she first heard this story.
“There’s no reason why your caregiver should ever need to have your checks. That’s not their role that’s not what they’re doing, you need to keep both things separate," says Brown.
Brown says it’s important to never handover financial information to any caregiver as that’s not part of their job. “Never, ever give your caregiver your checkbook, never give them your credit card, never give them your debit card and certainly never give them your PIN number,” she said.
Instead Brown says to give them a gift card with the amount of money you wish to spend – but most importantly never be afraid to ask for the caregivers’ information.
“They should be bonded, they should be insured, they should have a license number and everything they present to you should have their number on it,” says Brown.
Other tips when hiring a caregiver are to always make sure there’s a background screening done and make sure you keep your financial information with someone you trust.