Women posed as nurses and stole $20,000 from 85-year-old woman
December 30, 2010 at 7:41 PM EST - Updated June 17 at 11:53 AM
WEST PALM BEACH --Police have arrested three people on charges they bilked an 85-year-old woman suffering from dementia out of $20,000.
Police said while 85-year-old Jane Janssen was hospitalized for declining health and dementia, Mindi Berry, 33, a Department of Children and Families caseworker, stole the woman's debit card and used it to buy $283.58 worth of merchandise at CVS, another $88.18 worth of merchandise at Publix, and $220 worth of items at Old Navy. In addition, Berry made withdrawals totaling $1,000. There was an addition 15 attempts to withdrawal money, police said.
At some point, she also teamed up with Greta Lambert, 41, and Alexis White, 19. The women cashed fraudulent checks, made ATM withdrawals, and used Janssen's debit card to make purchases. In all, there were more than 20 transactions that totaled about $20,000. The women worked as a team, posing as nurses, and entering Janssen's home to pose as Janssen in case her banked called to question the transactions.
Janssen's son, who lives out of state, gave Berry permission to enter his mother's home and collect her financial documents -- which were scattered around the apartment of an assisted living facility. But when Berry neglected to drop the financial documents off to Janssen's family, and also did not return phone calls, Janssen's son called police.
According to a police report, Berry admitted to stealing the card, making the purchases and making the withdrawals.
She was subsequently fired from the Department of Children and Families.