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Caregiver Theft - A Family's Worst Fear

A family in Cincinnati hired a caregiver to help care for their elderly father and learned too late that their worst fear had become a reality. the caregiver had robbed their father blind!

Caregiver theft is one of the worst fears of families in need of a caregiver to help care for an aging loved one. This story may help other families learn how to protect themselves and their family members from caregiver theft.

Mr. Whitehead's life became increasingly difficult due to dementia robbing him of his memory that rendered him in need of help at home.

Diane Harvell portrayed herself as a caregiver and was hired by Mr. Whitehead's family to provide transportation and to help him with small tasks.

After quickly gaining Mr. Whitehead's trust, Diane convinced him to sign over his power of attorney to her. pair-hands During this time Diane also began to ostracize Mr. Whitehead from his children, convincing him that she was the only one he could trust.

Susan, Mr. Whitehead's daughter, recognized that Diane was weaseling her way into the family, taking over and trying to control everything. Edward, Mr. Whitehead's son, said, "She wanted to keep us away. If she could keep us away, we couldn't force her into court to get more information on her!"

Without the family's knowledge, Diane proceeded to alter Mr. Whitehead's will and forge notary signatures. Diane signed all of Mr. Whitehead's documents as if she were his daughter, to include the "do not resuscitate" documentation.

As postal inspectors began sifting through Mr. Whitehead's bank records, surveillance videos verified that Diane had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars. Investigators said that Diane's control and Mr. Whitehead's dementia was a terrible combination.

Fraud315a-304In the end, Diane had made structured withdrawals, less than $10,000 per withdrawal, from Mr. Whitehead's bank account. Ultimately, Diane had taken over $200,000 of Mr. Whitehead's personal savings.

Diane managed to stay ten steps ahead of the family.  The morning following Mr. Whitehead's passing, Diane had filed a forged will with the court!

Despite having six children, Mr. Whitehead died alone! None of his family knew of his passing until afterwards.

Postal inspectors advise families to not wait until it's too late to set up a plan that protects their elderly loved ones. Be wary of new people coming into a senior citizen's life, or a parent or grandparent that suffers from dementia/Alzheimer's Disease.

Diane Harvell now faces mail theft, ID theft, mail fraud, forgery, and several other charges. Postal inspectors said that she could face up to 15 years in prison.

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It is worthwhile to note at this point, that in the state of Georgia, a caregiver that was arrested for multiple counts of first degree forgery, escaped a prison sentence after pleading guilty under the Compass Pointing the Way to Integrity in Business"first offender's act"! The caregiver ultimately walked out of the courtroom as a convicted felon with ten years probation.

The story doesn't end here - This caregiver also managed to become a Provider Agent in the state of Georgia and now holds a Medicaid number, having access to patient's sensitive information, managing the care of medically-frail individuals in family model community homes.

Despite many state agencies receiving information regarding this individual's criminal history and probation violations, this caregiver continues to operate as a Provider Agent in the state of Georgia!

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Crimes, such as caregiver theft, against the elderly are preventable! It is imperative, regardless of who is providing the in-home care, that a background be check be conducted.

Cincinnati WKRC News Story

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Are you ready to tackle life's challenges and implement a winning game plan for your loved one?

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Lori Greenhill RN BSN - THE Caregiver Coach specializes in HELPING caregivers (families) find the answers they are searching for to HELP their loved one and to be BE PREPARED for whatever comes next.....  If you are a caregiver - the one making the decisions & coordinating the care for your loved one - just like a concierge, Lori is only a phone call away!

Call Now - Speak to Lori Greenhill RN - THE Caregiver Coach

Learn More - Coaching For Caregivers Online Support Group 

More information and FREE resources are available on the website. lorigreenhill.com

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