Florida caregiver racks up $3,500 on dementia patient's debit card without permission, police say

<div>Sandra Yeager (Photo: Sumter County Sheriffs Office)</div>
Sandra Yeager (Photo: Sumter County Sheriffs Office)

WILDWOOD, Fla. - A caregiver in Sumter County was arrested after she allegedly racked up $3,500 in unauthorized charges on a debit card belonging to a patient with dementia.

Sandra Yeager was charged with two felonies – grand theft and exploitation of the elderly – after police were alerted to transactions on the man's debit card dating back to Oct. 31, 2023, according to an arrest affidavit from the Wildwood Police Department.

Police visited Yeager's home in Wildwood to investigate the alleged theft and when they arrived, the 54-year-old woman admitted to using the man's debit card to make purchases without permission, but she said "it was only a few items," the affidavit said.

The affidavit included a list of the dozens of purchases Yeager allegedly made using the man's debit card. She's accused of spending over $1,800 at various Walmart locations in The Villages, Ocala and Leesburg, over $400 at various smoke shops and over $800 for what appears to be on her phone bill, in addition to other transactions. In total, Yeager allegedly racked up $3,486.64.

Yeager told police that she was given permission to purchase some items that she intended to pay him back for, but wasn't able to provide any receipts to police.

The patient's son told police that his father was showing signs of dementia, including not being able to operate a TV remote or cell phone, according to the affidavit. The son said his dad "could not even use the phone to call him."

"It was unknown to him that his father had given (Yeager) the debit card," the affidavit said.

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Police said they charged Yeager with exploitation of an elderly person because she made purchases "knowing that the victim was not of sound mind," the affidavit said.

Yeager has since been released from the Sumter County Detention Facility after posting $2,500 bond.