Sunday, July 27, 2014

Aide charged with stealing funds from bed-stricken man

May 15. 2014 11:49PM

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HANOVER TWP. — A former caregiver for a bed-stricken man was charged earlier this week with using her client’s debit card for personal purchases and ATM withdrawals.

Township police allege Christine Casale, 44, of Boland Avenue, Hanover Township, used the debit card belonging to Joseph Minnick to pay for online video games, utility and grocery bills and to make bank withdrawals totaling $776.58 from September to March.

Casale was arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township on charges of access-device fraud and receiving stolen property. She was released on her own recognizance.

Casale was employed by Comfort Keepers, a business that provides caregivers for the elderly and disabled in their homes, when she allegedly used Minnick’s debit card without his knowledge.

According to the criminal complaint:

Minnick told police he had not received any bank statements in months and believed Casale was removing the statements from his mail. His sister obtained his bank statements when she visited his bank in March.

Minnick said Casale was authorized to use his debit card to make purchases for him and for his home, including groceries and utility payments.

After Minnick reviewed his bank statement, he noticed Casale allegedly used his debit card to make many unauthorized purchases for video games, groceries, ATM withdrawals and bills for Verizon and PPL Electric in Casale’s name, the complaint says.

Casale allegedly told police Minnick was aware she used his debit card for personal purchases in return for money he owed her. She said Minnick owed her money for gasoline for driving to his house in the middle of the night, according to the complaint.

Casale also said Minnick authorized video game purchases for her daughter because he felt bad that her daughter had to wait in his kitchen when Casale had to attend to his medical needs.

Police said in the complaint all out-of-pocket expenses would be paid to caregivers through Comfort Keepers and not through clients.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on June 3.

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