It’s difficult enough when the home care industry has to endure more negative media attention when an aide, home health care worker, or even administrators commit crimes, such as theft, fraud, abuse, and more, but when someone is pretending to be one of these workers in order to steal from elderly clients, it affects the entire industry as well. Such is the case with an Elyria, Ohio woman who posed as a home health care worker in order to steal money from unsuspecting seniors.
Charlene Jones, 33, is facing a number of charges for allegedly taking money from an elderly person. According to police records, Ms. Jones approached a 90-year-old woman at home claiming to be one of her home health care workers and stating that she needed $40 to pay for a shower seat.
According to a Fox 8 Cleveland news report entitled, Elyria woman accused of posing as home health care worker to prey on elderly, written by Jen Steer:
“The first victim was a 90-year-old woman. According to the police report, Jones went to the woman’s house at about 3 p.m. on Jan. 31. She told the victim she was a health care worker and she needed to check on the victim’s well being.
Jones told the elderly woman she needed to pay $40 for a chair for her shower, the report said. The victim gave her the money and asked for a receipt, which she didn’t receive. The suspect also went into the victim’s bedroom and took money from her purse, police said.
According to the police report, Jones knew personal and health information about her victim.”
On February 4, 2018, another victim was also possibly confronted by Ms. Jones. In that incident, according to authorities, the perpetrator demanded money, as occurred in the first incident, but also grabbed the victim by the shoulder and wouldn’t let her go. The assailant then rooted through the victim’s purse and took cash.
Bond in this case was set at $3,000 and it wasn’t noted whether Charlene Jones had managed to secure the funds for release. There was no initial court date set and it wasn’t made clear whether Ms. Jones had legal representation at the time of this writing.
Authorities made it clear, though, that they hadn’t determined if Ms. Jones was the same perpetrator in the second incident, though the pattern of behavior was almost identical.
It’s unclear how Charlene Jones knew these victims were relying on home health care or how she had obtained personal and health information about the victim(s), and the investigation continues.