Caretaker faces forgery, theft charges for allegedly stealing from victim
BATON ROUGE - A caretaker has been arrested for allegedly stealing money from a victim who suffers from short term memory loss.
On January 10, 2018, a family member of the victim contacted authorities after someone attempted to cash one of the victim's checks worth $525. The family member is in charge of the victim's financial affairs and didn't authorize the check.
During the investigation, authorities discovered that two people attempted to cash the check but were unable to retrieve the funds. After tracking down one of the subjects, authorities learned the check was written by the victim's caregiver Christina Vela.
While speaking with Vela on February 22, she denied writing the check and claimed the check must have been stolen.
According to the arrest report, the victim's family member also told authorities he noticed two large deposits that were taken out of the victim's bank account. Authorities say Vela represented herself as the victim's power of attorney and filed a claim with his homeowner's issuance company.
Vela allegedly said the money was going to repair the victim's roof. Documents say Vela obtained $5,012.93 from the victim's insurance disbursement of $9,012.56. She then paid the contractor $4,000.
The caretaker was also accused of using the victim's credit card at an area store and hiding the victim's phone.
Authorities charged Vela with forgery, exploitation of a person with infirmities, access device fraud, and theft.
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