Cottonwood AZ (August 9, 2012) – On August 4, 2012, a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy responded to Colorado Drive in Cottonwood, Arizona regarding a report of fraud.
It was discovered that a 90-year-old female victim had been defrauded in an amount exceeding $100,000 over a period of four months. The victim’s granddaughter recently discovered the theft after reviewing her grandmother’s bank records.
The victim, who requires 24 hour care, was under the care taking services of C and R Home Care owned by 37-year-old Rosemary Flores from Camp Verde, Arizona.
The victim was charged approximately $2200 each week for 24-hour service involving several caretakers. Flores offered to write out the victim’s personal check each week for services and had the victim sign to complete the check.
Flores would then alter the check to increase the amount before obtaining the cash equivalent from the bank. Checks were altered in varying amounts between $3200 and $12,300 with a total estimated loss in excess of $60,000.
Before contacting YCSO, the victim’s granddaughter had confronted Flores about the excessive cash withdrawals. Flores told her not to worry as the cash outs were necessary for extraordinary expenses.
After a detailed investigation by the patrol deputy, the case was assigned to a detective from the Criminal Investigations Bureau.
It was also discovered Flores had convinced the victim to “put all (her) eggs into one basket” by cashing out her annuities. The victim eventually cashed out one annuity and suffered a $32,000 loss due to the early cancellation. Additionally, it is estimated the victim will suffer excessive and unplanned income tax penalties in excess of $40,000.
Flores was interviewed at the YCSO Camp Verde office by detectives on August 9, 2012 and admitted to the fraud. Flores claimed she used the money to pay medical bills.
Flores was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including 13 counts of Fraudulent Schemes, 14 counts of Offering a Forged Instrument, and Theft. She remains in-custody and bond has not been set.
This incident is a reminder that those caring for elderly family members should always be directly involved in the financial aspects of any outside care service. The victim’s granddaughter saved her grandmother from further loss because she noticed and then questioned withdrawal amounts during a bank account review.
For even greater peace of mind, all payments for this type of service should come from a trusted financial service or family member only. Citizens should contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office with concerns and questions about this and other cases.