Newport News in-home caregiver sentenced to prison for elder fraud

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton woman was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison for stealing over $21,000 from an elderly client and her family.

Court documents say that 58-year-old Sandra Payne was employed to provide in-home care for an elderly client in Newport News.

During the course of her employment at that residence, Payne gained access to credit and debit card account numbers belonging to the family of her client.

She used that data, without lawful authority or the knowledge and consent of the account owners, to buy ‘goods and services’ in excess of $21,000 at various merchants in the Tidewater area.

“The financial and emotional harm these deceitful and illegal acts can cause victims and their family members cannot be overstated,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The victims in this case entrusted Payne to take care of their elderly family member. Instead, she used that trust to steal over $21,000 from them. I would like to commend the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their terrific work investigating this case.”

In 2018, the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners coordinated the largest sweep of elder fraud cases in history.

The cases involved more than 250 defendants from around the globe who victimized more than a 1 million Americans, most of them being elderly. The cases include criminal, civil, and forfeiture actions across more than 50 federal districts.

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