Caregiver’s Convictions of Financial Exploitation and Credit Card Fraud Affirmed (Va. App.)

A.C. required 24-hour care due to a serious brain injury caused by West Nile virus and encephalitis. Raymeka White was employed by a caregiver service and placed in A.C.’s home. White made cash withdraws for her personal benefit using A.C.’s debit card. A trial court found White guilty of financial exploitation of a mentally incapacitated individual and credit card fraud in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-178.1and Va. Code § 18.2-195 respectively. White was sentenced to three years in prison with time suspended.

White appealed her convictions, arguing that A.C. was not mentally incapacitated within the meaning of the statute and that she possessed the debit card with the consent of the cardholder. The Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed both convictions. The court held that the Commonwealth presented sufficient evidence to support a finding of mental incapacity within the meaning of section 18.2-178.1 and that A.C.’s condition at the time of the offense precluded her from understanding the nature and consequences of White’s actions. Furthermore, the court said, when White took the debit card to the ATM her possession of the card at that time was not authorized as t of her employment; this was sufficient to support a conviction of credit card fraud.

White v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 2017 WL 6001555 (Va. App. Dec. 5, 2017) 

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