In-home health care aide waives hearing on exploitation charge

·2 min read

Jun. 4—A 55-year-old in-home health care aide waived a preliminary hearing this week on a charge that she financially exploited an elderly and legally blind patient from Joplin.

Joedy D. Greninger waived the hearing Thursday in Jasper County Circuit Court and was ordered bound over for trial on a felony count of financial exploitation of an elderly and disabled person. Judge Joe Hensley set her initial appearance in a trial division of the court on July 12.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Greninger was serving as an in-home health care aide to an 80-year-old legally blind woman from Joplin between January 2018 and April 2020 when she allegedly took advantage of access the woman granted her to her checkbook for the purpose of helping her write checks.

The affidavit states that checks were regularly made out to Greninger and signed by the woman in order for Greninger to be able to buy items the woman needed from various stores.

The alleged victim told Joplin police that she never authorized any checks over $500. But an investigation turned up a check written in April 2018 for $4,500, $4,000 of which was deposited back into the account the following day.

On March 26, 2019, a check for $1,500 was cashed in Greninger's name even though the handwritten number on the check was for $1,000, not $1,500, and the alleged victim's ledger for the check recorded it as having been for $900 and a carbon copy of the original check showed it to be for just $100, according to the affidavit.

The investigation also turned up two checks written in 2019 for $300 and a third written in 2020 for $200 that were cashed in Greninger's name, though carbon copies and the woman's check ledger showed them to have been either made out to another person or vendor or having been voided, according to the affidavit.

In all, police identified 58 transactions involving $45,612 that the alleged victim believed may have been fraudulent.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.