Caregiver accused of defrauding elderly woman of $100K

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Rosemary Flores By Jennifer Thomas Rosemary Flores By Jennifer Thomas

COTTONWOOD, Ariz. -- A caregiver is accused of defrauding a 90-year-old Cottonwood woman of more than $100,000 over four months.

The victim's granddaughter discovered the theft after reviewing her grandmother's bank records, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

The victim was under the caretaking service of C and R Home Care owned by Rosemary Flores, 37, of Camp Verde. The victim was charged approximately $2,200 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.

YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said checks were altered in varying amounts between $3,200 and $12,300 with a total estimated loss in excess of $60,000.

Before contacting the sheriff's office, 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. 

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.

It is estimated the victim will suffer excessive and unplanned income tax penalties in excess of $40,000, according to D'Evelyn.

Detectives said Flores admitted to the fraud and claimed she used the money to pay her 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.

D'Evelyn said 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.