BILLINGS, Mont. – A former nursing home worker accused of stealing money from a resident admitted to Fraud and identity theft charges Thursday.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) reports Elizabeth Marie Stephenson, 36, worked at Eagle Cliff Manor in Billings during the time of the fraud incidents.
According to the DOJ, the nephew of and power of attorney for the 96-year-old victim noticed more than $11,000 was missing from the victim’s checking account, with multiple $700 withdrawals made between July and August at Wells Fargo ATMs.
A debit card was also used to purchase credit on a Telmate Inmate Service account at a detention facility.
The victim did not notice he was missing money from his account until somebody told him.
An investigation identified Stephenson, who was an employee at the nursing home at the time and had a boyfriend who was in custody and had a Telemate account in Idaho.
Eagle Cliff Manor reportedly terminated Stephenson’s employment after finding she had put her name on a credit card application on the victim’s Wells Fargo account.
The DOJ says a statement for the card showed a $3,500 payment to a criminal defense law firm in California and a $106 charge to Telemate.
A receipt from the law firm reportedly indicated Stephenson represented that she was the owner of the card and provided a Billings address.
Investigators also noted the first unauthorized transaction on the victim’s checking account was at Walmart on July 24, 2020, and that, in total, over the next month, more than $17,000 was taken from the account, including withdrawals of $700 nearly every day.
When talking to an investigator, Stephenson said she worked with the victim and that she was dating someone incarcerated in Idaho but denied the thefts.