MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (KY3) – A woman from Mountain Home faces criminal charges of embezzlement and credit card fraud as a caregiver of an elderly woman.
Shelah L. Ellison, 49, faces felony charges of fraudulent use of credit cards, obtaining a signature by deception and theft of property.
Ellison’s arrest came after a complaint was filed with the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.
According to the complaint, Ellison had embezzled funds and committed credit card fraud after being hired as a caregiver for an elderly woman. While working as a caregiver, Ellison had agreed with the woman on the daily pay for Monday through Friday and would be paid on the first of the month for the month’s work to come. Ellison was then asked to also provide assistance to the woman on weekends for a separate agreed compensation amount.
At one unspecified time, the woman provided Ellison with a credit card to purchase groceries and supplies. Meanwhile, investigators said Ellison was using pre-signed blank checks on the woman’s account to pay the woman’s monthly bills and would keep the woman’s checkbook ledger for her.
In July 2021, an unpaid invoice was discovered which was believed to have been paid to Ellison. Bank statements were searched to see if a check for the bill had cleared the account. During this research, unusual large transactions on the account were discovered and the victim’s daughter was contacted and made aware.
Subsequent research uncovered numerous unauthorized transactions on the woman’s bank accounts and credit card. These included a $ 45,000 transaction used to reimburse Ellison’s personal vehicle.
In total, there was evidence that $ 62,637.64 of the elderly woman’s money had been taken by Ellison and had been used without the victim’s consent or permission. When confronted with relatives, Ellison repaid the $ 45,000 she had used to pay off her vehicle.
After an interview with Baxter County authorities, Ellison attended the Baxter County Detention Center on October 28.
Ellison was released after posting $ 50,000 bail. She will appear in Circuit Court to respond on November 18.
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