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Caregiver Charged With Robbing Elderly Patient

(CN) - A grand jury indicted an Augusta, Ga., woman on charges of stealing more than $22,000 from a 96-year-old dementia patient.

Patsy Sheppard, the former caretaker for the nursing home resident, stole the money over a three-month period, according to the announcement from state Attorney General Samuel Olens. She is charged with three counts of exploitation of an elderly person and one count of attempted exploitation of an elderly person.

Prosecutors say Sheppard used a power of attorney document to open joint bank accounts, allowing her to transfer money and make withdrawals from the resident's account.

These transactions included large in-person withdrawals as well as ATM withdrawals at various locations, sometimes multiple times in a day, the indictment says.

An employee at a First Community Bank in Augusta questioned Sheppard's actions when she came into the bank with a different resident attempting to gain access to another account.

The bank employee denied access to the account after noticing that the elderly resident did not seem coherent or recognize Sheppard.

The bank then notified friends and family of the resident, which exposed Sheppard's suspicious activity and initiated an investigation involving multiple state departments.

If she's convicted, Sheppard faces one up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on each of the charges.

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