Beverly Widdiss says every day for years she made sure an elderly woman she cared for ate a proper meal – and she did it without pay.
But a New Port Richey Police detective says payday came over and over again, starting about a year ago, and continued after nearly $60,000 of the 82-year-old woman's funds were drained.
Widdiss, 46, was arrested on charges of exploitation of the elderly and scheme to defraud. She was released from the Land O' Lakes Jail later after posting $20,000 bail.
Det. Jason Engel said Widdiss was the woman's caregiver and "gained the trust and confidence" of the victim before bilking her out of tens of thousands of dollars.
Widdiss said the woman, whose family lives "up north" and doesn't take care of her, has been helping her out financially for years and she was always told she'd "get everything anyway."
"I was power of attorney and everything," Widdiss said. "…She told me that I would never have to work for the rest of my life and that I could travel."
Widdiss says she's angry and hurt. She said in recent months she noticed the woman has had memory problems and has seemed "out of it" and she thinks it's because of medication.
"I loved her to death and she loves me," she said. "…I don't even think she knows what's going on."
Widdiss, 3608 Murrow St., New Port Richey, said in addition to one day being vindicated, she is going to sue those who have shamed her, including the police and the nursing home.
"I did get framed – bad," she said. "Real bad."
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Caregiver Exploited Elderly Woman, New Port Richey Police Say