Georgia caregiver charged with exploiting elderly Tallahassee victim

Georgia caregiver charged with exploiting elderly Tallahassee victim
Posted at 10:19 AM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 14:26:20-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A caregiver has been arrested, accused of lying on records to get paid thousands of dollars for work she didn't do.

Grace Cooper, 46, of Climax, Georgia, was employed by Hopewell In-Home Senior Care to provide personal and homemaking services for the victim at a senior living facility in Tallahassee.

Cooper is accused of exploiting the victim from the middle of June 2017 through December 2017 partially by completing false time and care records and forging the victim's signature. 

Cooper is said to have taken $9,027.38 she did not earn when she did not provide the contracted services, according to a probable cause affidavit. Her employment was terminated on Dec. 22, 2017.

Charges she faces include criminal use of personal identification information of a person 60 years of age or older, exploitation of the elderly, organized scheme to defraud, uttering, and larceny $300 less than $10,000 from a person 65 years of age or older.

An investiagator with the Department of Children and Families determined that Cooper had only provided the victim an average of 20 minutes of supervision daily. She was under contract to be with the victim for three hours nightly to provide help with bathing and homemaking.

Cooper submitted numerous timesheets indicating she worked the full three-hour periods.

A closed circuit television showed that on some occasions Cooper only stayed between five minues to 20 minutes.

Relatives of the victim told a Leon County Sheriff's Office investigator that they did not approve of Grace Cooper altering her schedule to work less than three hours. They said the time and care records dated from August 4, 2017, to Dec. 21, 2017, submitted by Cooper appeared to be forged.

Additionally, Cooper failed to sign out on numerous occasions as well as signed in with false times on the sign-in and sign-out sheets, the court document said, listing the occurrences.

On March 8, 2018, the investigator phoned Cooper and asked her to come in for an interview. She refused to come in, the investigator wrote, told the investigator to speak with her attorney and, when asked the name of her attorney, hung up the phone.

After the investigator called Coooper again requesting her attorney's name, she called and requested the investigator's name so she could provide it to her attorney but did not identify her attorney.

She was released from the Leon County Detention Center on Monday, the day she was booked, on a $35,000 bond.

Cooper was arrested on similar exploitation charges in 2010 but was found not guilty.