Caregiver accused of stealing $400 from patient

Caregiver accused of stealing $400 from patient

BENTON CO., MS (WMC) - A Benton County woman is out on bond after being arrested for stealing money from the person she was paid to help, Attorney General Jim Hood announced Friday.

Hood said Melissa Collins, 39, worked for Total Care Services in Greenwood, Mississippi. She worked as an aide and was being paid by the Division of Medicaid to provide homemaker services at a patient's home in New Albany.

Investigators said she stole $400 from the patient she was paid to help. According to Hood, Collins took the patient's debit card and made a $100 withdrawal on four separate days. She did this without the patient's permission, according to investigators.

"In-home services not only allow a patient to retain the dignity and comfort of their own home, they also typically represent a cost savings over the cost of facility care," Hood said. "When a service provider exploits a vulnerable patient by gaining his or her trust to steal, it can be devastating to the victim both emotionally and financially."

Collins was released on a $10,000 bond.

She is charged with exploitation of a vulnerable person and faces up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines if she is convicted.

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