2 CNA’s accused of bilking John’s Island patients

2 CNA’s accused of bilking John’s Island patients

Indian River Shores, Fla- In December 2017 the Indian River Shores Department of Public Safety received correspondence from the State of Florida Department of Health. It was concerning a possible fraud case against two elderly infirm residents by their home healthcare workers (Certified Nurses Assistants).  

Detective Sergeant Kip Benham, Detective Ken Barrett, and Officer Rodney Grass were assigned to the case. The officers determined there was substance  to the allegations of fraud. They also found that the case fit the criteria set forth in the Exploitation of the Elderly in the Florida Statutes.  They initiated an investigation into the case, focusing on suspects Sophia Shephard (Brown) and Chiquita McGee, both from Vero Beach, Florida.  The suspects were employed by a reputable home healthcare company to care for two residents of the John’s Island subdivision of Indian River Shores.  In the early stages of the investigation, one of the victims passed away. During the investigation, both suspects were terminated by their home healthcare company. 

Chiquita McGee

Chiquita McGee

The suspects convinced the victims to allow them to open credit cards in their names. It was under the victim’s accounts, with an unlimited line of credit.  They then proceeded to charge in excess of $400,000.00 for personal items, to include cosmetic dental work, plastic surgery, cruises, expensive jewelry, clothing, an engine for one of their cars, exotic car rental (a Rolls Royce Ghost for 5 days @ $995.00 per day), hotels in various cities in Florida, and to pay a fine in St. Lucie County.  The total amount for all fraud related to this case is at least $543,973.00.  They also fraudulently obtained checks from the victims. 

On March 13, 2018, Police Officers from the Indian River Shores Department of Public Safety, assisted by deputies from the Indian River Sheriff’s Office, executed search warrants at the suspects 18th Avenue and 8th Manor residences.  Evidence of the crime was processed by the Indian River County Sheriff’s Crime Scene Unit and secured by the Indian River Shores Police. 

The suspects were arrested. They were charged with one count each of Exploitation of the Elderly. Other charges included Organized Fraud, and Scheme to Defraud a Financial Institution. 

They will lodged in the Indian River County Jail without bail pending their first appearance on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. 

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