by: Craig Lucie Updated:
A caregiver is in jail after a family says she stole more than $44,000 from their elderly parent’s bank and credit card accounts.
“It has been a nightmare,” said JoAnn Latimer of Dallas.
Latimer says the woman she’s known for more than 20 years nearly drained her bank account.
Paulding County deputies first arrested Pamela Crowe in June on 12 charges of theft and forgery. Her latest arrest came Monday with six additional charges including fraud.
“She saw how much money we had in the bank from the bank statement,” said Latimer.
Latimer says Crowe routinely checked their mail and Latimer recently asked to see her bank statement.
“She would say, ‘You didn’t get one today.’ I said something is wrong,” Latimer said.
Something was very wrong. Her daughters started looking at her Regions Bank statements online.
In all, they say more than $28,000 in cash disappeared from January until late May. They say Crowe also opened up credit cards in their names and took cash so they are now out more than $44,000.
When JoAnn’s husband, Parks, found out, they say he was crushed.
“It hurt him so bad, and he said I don’t know how we are going to live,” said Latimer.
A month later, Parks Latimer passed away.
“He worked three jobs to make sure she was going to be set when he was gone,” Latimer’s daughter, Angie Badertscher said.
Badertscher says she and her sister confronted Crowe when they discovered the missing money.
“She said, ‘I don’t need to see it (copies of checks). I know what I’ve done.’ We said, ‘what are you going to do?’ and she said, ‘well, I’m going to pay it back,” said Badertscher.
Badertscher said the more they dug into the bank statements, the more money they found missing and they knew Crowe couldn’t repay them.
The family believes Regions Bank should have seen the red flags since they say their caregiver would withdraw money from their account every two to three days.
Regions Bank Corporate Communications Director Evelyn Mitchell sent us this statement:
“While it is our policy not to discuss specific customer relationships, we work closely with customers and with local law enforcement agencies to investigate suspected account fraud. We provide customers with a number of ways to monitor their accounts for unusual activity, including online and paper statements, online and mobile banking, real time balance updates available 24 hours through our telephone banking system, and through our branch network.”
Latimer told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie that she would like the bank to refund her account since they never cashed checks more than $200 and she says their signatures were forged.
Latimer also told Lucie that she would like to see her former caregiver get 20 years in prison, if she’s convicted.