A Mountain Home woman, 49 year old SHELAH L. ELLISON, has been arrested and charged with Theft and Fraud following an investigation into a complaint filed with the Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.
It was reported to the Sheriff’s Office that SHELAH ELLISON had embezzled funds and committed credit card fraud after being hired as a caregiver for an elderly woman. ELLISON had been hired as the woman’s caregiver at an agreed-upon daily wage for Monday through Friday and would be paid at the first of the month for the upcoming month’s work. ELLISON was later engaged to also provide assistance to the woman on the weekends for a separate agreed-upon amount of compensation.
ELLISON was provided a credit card by the woman she was caregiver for in order to purchase needed groceries and supplies for the woman. ELLISON would also use blank pre-signed checks on the woman’s account to pay the woman’s monthly bills and would maintain the woman’s check book register for her.
In July, 2021, an unpaid bill was discovered that was supposed to have been paid by ELLISON. Bank statements were researched to see if a check for the bill had cleared the account. During this research, unusual large transactions on the account were discovered, and the victim’s daughter was contacted and made aware of them. Subsequent research uncovered many unauthorized transactions on the woman’s bank accounts and credit card. These included a transaction of $45,000 used to pay off ELLISON’S personal vehicle.
In total, there was evidence that $62,637.64 of the woman’s monies had been taken by ELLISON and used without the victim’s consent or authorization. When confronted by relatives, ELLISON repaid the $45,000 she had used to pay off her vehicle.
ELLISON was interviewed by a Sheriff’s Investigator about these transactions. ELLISON alleged that the woman gifted her several things, including paying off her vehicle.
ELLISON also alleged that she was allowed by the woman she was caring for to use her credit card for personal items with agreement to pay the money back later.
After presenting the case to the Prosecuting Attorney, charged were filed and an arrest warrant issued for SHELAH ELLISON. She surrendered herself at the Baxter County Detention Center on October 28th and was booked on charges of:
Theft of Property – Felony
Fraudulent Use of Credit Card – Felony
Obtaining Signature by Deception – Felony
After being booked, ELLISON was released from custody after posting $50,000 bond. She will appear before the Circuit Court to answer on November 18th.