A woman hired as a home health aide to help an elderly woman who had suffered a stroke has been arrested on charges that she stole thousands of dollars from the woman over more than three years.
Shantel Monique Byrd, 27, of St. Petersburg, is facing felony charges of fraudulently using another person’s information and elderly exploitation. She was arrested Thursday and booked at the Pinellas County jail, where bail was set at $40,000. She was released the following day.
Byrd was brought in as a home health aide more than three years ago after the elderly woman, then 72, had a stroke that caused paralysis on the right side of her body, according to an arrest report filed by St. Petersburg police.
Byrd stole the woman’s debit card and transferred money from her client’s savings account to her checking account 11 times. She also hid bank statements in the closet at the elderly woman’s St. Petersburg home, arrest reports state.
Byrd called the bank and, using the woman’s personal information, changed the PIN on her debit card and the online log-in to her bank account.
The elderly woman’s credit card was fraudulently used to make 433 transactions totaling more than $34,000. Arrest reports state that police can prove that 168 of those transactions were done by Byrd in which she took more than $10,500.
The money was used for car payments, utility bills, cell phone payments, restaurant bills, on-line shopping, jail phone calls for Byrd’s boyfriend and paying off her boyfriend’s traffic citation, reports state.