|ELLISSA PEDERSEN. (OCSO)|
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office has arrested 45-year-old Ellissa Pedersen on charges of exploitation of elderly persons between $10,000 and $50,000 fraudulent use of credit cards, false verification of ownership to a pawnbroker and criminal use of personal identification information.
The release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office says the victims paid Pedersen $400 a week to help with house work, cooking, getting the mail and various other similar tasks.
The victim was contacted by Discover Card regarding suspicious charges and stated she never owned or applied for a Discover Card , the release says.
The release says Pedersen was listed as an authorized user on the account.
According to the release the victim said she discovered charges she did not make on department store cards and discovered purchases made with her bank credit card on Amazon.com.
The release says the victim has never even had an Amazon account.
In addition, she suspected jewelry and some of her husband's medication was missing, the release states.
The investigator says he showed her a photo of jewelry that had been pawned by Pedersen in January 2019 and the woman began to cry - positively identifying pieces of jewelry belonging to her and her husband, along with other items, the release revealed.
Pedersen had also taken and pawned gold chains belonging to the husband and a unique “I love you” inscribed wedding pendant that both victims had designed together, which cannot be recovered as it was melted down, the release states.
The husband's wedding band is also missing and has not been recovered.
Pedersen also allegedly funded a trip to New Orleans on the Discover Card.
An active warrant for Pedersen was approved on May 16th and the case was featured by Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers in June. Facebook posts indicated Pedersen had gone to Michigan and Detroit area Crime Stoppers also assisted in publicizing the search.
Pedersen turned herself in on Monday and was taken to the Okaloosa County Jail.
She is being held on no bond.
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Terminally ill man, partially disabled woman victims of financial exploitation