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Caretaker Accused Of Stealing From Elderly Woman

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:08 PM CDT

Anita Sybesma has come face to face with a living nightmare. She never dreamed people she trusted the most would steal money from her 94-year-old mother.

"It's just sort of unimaginable," Sybesma said. "I think it's horrific that those kind of people prey on one of the most tender, vulnerable groups of people that we have."

Former caretaker, Kimberly McMahan was recently charged with credit card fraud. McMahan checked on Atha Crist daily for the last couple of months. Sybesma said she noticed something was wrong when she went through her mother's financial statements, and that recipes sent off red flags.

"She had mother come in the door, and sit at the front of the store while she went shopping," Sybesma said.

The Travis County Department of Family Protective Services said this is a crime that happens too often.

In Travis County 3,000 cases were investigated in 2012, and of those 96 were validated exploitation. The majority of the perpetrators are adult children of the victim, and five percent involved a service provider or caretaker.

Ross Jackson with DFPS said it is rare to prosecute elderly financial cases because it is difficult to prove actual theft, and many victims do not even report the crime.

"Elders don't want to get their children in trouble or they may be embarrassed because they were taken advantage of," Jackson said.

By Cassie GalloCaretaker Accused Of Stealing From Elderly Woman


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