Ashley N. Garr, 33, had been charged with fraud in a case where she had worked as a home care aide for a client. In 2014, according to court documents, Ms. Garr was working for a client and brought her children over to visit with the elderly client. While there, she excused herself to use the bathroom, but instead found the client’s checkbook. She subsequently took information about the woman and this began a series of unauthorized purchases and transfers from the victim’s account.
In 2017, the elderly woman had an accountant working on her finances when the fraud was discovered. The bookkeeper noticed a few odd transactions, including from a Rent-a-Center and a Lexington law firm. When confronted with this information, the client knew she hadn’t made those charges and it was forwarded to the authorities.
KTTN KGOZ in Trenton, Missouri, reported in a news blog, St. Joseph home health care aid pleads guilty to $207,000 fraud scheme:
“Garr worked as a home health aide for the victim in St. Joseph for approximately one year beginning in 2014. In late October 2016, Garr stopped at the victim’s residence to introduce her children. Garr excused herself to use the bathroom during the visit and found the victim’s checkbook and purse (with her identification) in a home office located near the bathroom.
In the spring of 2017, the victim’s bookkeeper was reviewing the bank statement from Nodaway Valley Bank and noticed charges to RENT-A-CENTER and the Lexington law firm, which both seemed odd to her. She pointed them out to the victim and the victim stated that she did not make these charges. The bookkeeper contacted Nodaway Valley Bank to report the fraud.”
Ashely Garr pleaded guilty to fraud and has agreed (as part of the plea deal) to repay $207,638 in restitution, the amount she stole from the client. She is also set to be ordered to pay $151,589 to the IRS. Ms. Garr had falsified tax returns, overreporting her income to receive a larger refund, but also not reporting any of the money she had transferred from the client’s account.
Sentencing will be made at a date in the future. Ms. Garr could face up to three years in federal prison for filing a false tax return and two years for aggravated identity theft. It was unclear whether Ashley Garr had been working as a home care aide for an agency or independently.
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