Cassie Tillinghast, of Buffalo, had been hired to take care of an elderly woman, but after she was no longer working for the couple who hired her, she obtained a credit card using the client’s name and rang up a number of charges for various goods between November 25, 2015 and December 21, 2015.
Ms. Tillinghast pled guilty to bank fraud and will await sentencing. She could face up to 30 years in prison for what she did. According to The Buffalo News, in their article, Home health care aide pleads guilty to bank fraud, written by Harold McNeil:
“In May 2015, Cassie Tillinghast, 32, of Buffalo was hired as an in-home health care aide for an elderly woman and her husband, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti. After her employment, Tillinghast fraudulently applied for a Discover credit card in the woman’s name, using the card between Nov. 25, 2015, and Dec. 21, 2015, to fraudulently obtain goods and merchandise. As a result, Discover Financial Services suffered a total loss of $6,462.89., Grisanti said.”
The U.S. Postal Service Inspection Service was the agency that investigated this case. It was not made clear whether or not prosecutors will be pushing for the maximum sentence in this case or if there will be effort to be lenient. According to court documents, this is the first and only alleged time Ms. Tillinghast attempted to defraud an aging or disabled client.
There was no note made during the initial report about whether Cassie was hired independently by the couple or if she had been working for an agency. She had been hired initially to help care for the elderly woman and her husband, but it wasn’t made clear how much support and assistance either of them required at that time.
As she was hired in May, she only worked for the couple for a few months. There was no mention about why her services were no longer required or what drove Ms. Tillinghast to commit credit card fraud. Investigators did not comment on what kinds of purchases were made during the month-long shopping binge or if any of the items had been recovered from Cassie’s possession.
Bank and credit card fraud continues to be a major concern for people from all walks of life, and when it is committed by a home care aide, it erodes trust for others who rely on these services in time.
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