SARASOTA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Sarasota authorities are searching for other possible victims of elder exploitation at an assisted living facility in Sarasota following reports of three confirmed elderly victims.
Yolanda Taite, 29, of Tallevast, Florida, has been arrested and is facing charges of exploitation of the elderly and grand theft from a person over 65 years or older after family members reported fraudulent credit card use of their family members living at an assisted living home in the City of Sarasota. Additional charges are possible.
In July 2020, family members came forward after their mother, who is 99 years old, was the victim of credit card theft. Sarasota Police detectives learned the mother is living at an assisted living home on Hudson Avenue in Sarasota. Family members told detectives she has been unable to leave because of COVID-19 and was not able to make charges on her credit card. Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department discovered charges totaling $1,206.22 between May 28, 2020 and June 27, 2020.
While collecting video surveillance footage for the fraudulent credit card transactions, a woman believed to be Taite is seen on camera with another person, believed to be a man, and they made two separate purchases at a retail store.
Sarasota Police detectives learned the second transaction at the retail store was done on a credit card belonging to another resident at the assisted living home, an 85-year-old man. Sarasota Police detectives reached out to the man’s power of attorney and learned the man is unable to take care of himself and does not use his credit card. Detectives discovered charges for the second resident totaling $1,090.15 between June 22, 2020 and July 9, 2020.
As an employee, Taite had trusted access from her employer to all residents’ apartments and rooms. Management at the assisted living home told detectives Taite was employed with them since February 2019. Taite was terminated following her arrest.
In addition to the two charges mentioned above, an arrest warrant has been issued for Taite for an additional charge of Exploitation of the Elderly (less than $10,000) after a third family came forward to report fraudulent charges on their sister’s credit card. The sister is 86 years old and also lives at the assisted living home.
Detectives believe there may be additional victims based on their investigation. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Jessica Sullivan at 941-263-6070, email at Jessica.Sullivan@SarasotaFL.gov or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online.
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