A Florida housekeeper was arrested after she allegedly swiped her employer’s credit card from his wallet and went on a shopping spree at several stores worth over $1,000, according to deputies.
Jennifer Middleton, 46, was arrested Friday and charged with illegal use of credit cards, three counts of fraud-impersonation of a victim 60 or older, and exploitation of the elderly after the incident that was first reported to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in late November, according to an arrest affidavit.
It all started back on Nov. 20, when Middleton, who Ashford Home Care employs, was referred to the victim by a Veterans Affairs hospital, according to the affidavit.
Four days later, the victim – Middleton’s employer – noticed several charges on his credit card that he said he hadn’t used since June. The card, a Wells Fargo-issued Dillard’s credit card, was missing from his wallet, which he left on the kitchen counter and did not remember misplacing at any time.
The victim told deputies he had hired Middleton a few days prior and “found it suspicious” the credit card went missing and was used after she started working at his home, the affidavit said. Middleton was hired to help the victim with cleaning, meal prep, and medication.
“He had a feeling it was her,” the affidavit added.
The victim’s daughter told deputies that the credit card had a total of six unauthorized transactions on it. Deputies investigated, and they found that all alleged charges were made on Nov. 24. She was reportedly caught on surveillance cameras at a couple of the stores, while the others turned over transaction records matching the credit card.
Here’s a list of the alleged charges:
- Ross at Rolling Acres Plaza in Lady Lake: $90.19
- Sketcher’s Outlet at Rolling Acres Plaza in Lady Lake: $176.36
- Bealls at Rolling Acres Plaza in Lady Lake: $188.77
- Sonoco gas station in Summerfield: $38.39
- Victoria’s Secret (online): $195.65
- Dillard’s (online): $355.78
In total, Middleton allegedly racked up $1,045.14 on her employer’s credit card.
On Friday, deputies visited Middleton’s home in Ocala and placed her in custody. In a post-Miranda interview with deputies, she admitted to swiping the credit card from her employer’s wallet on the kitchen counter and using it at several stores without his permission, the affidavit said. She also said she threw the stolen credit card in the trash when she was done using it.
Middleton has since been released from the Marion County Jail after posting $8,000 bond, arrest records show.