Louise Simo, a Lauderhill, Florida caregiver, was arrested Wednesday after she was accused of pawning around $100,00 worth of her elderly ward’s jewelry, news sources report. Simo, 34, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of dealing in stolen property, false verification of ownership, and exploitation of the elderly. It was not immediately clear whether she qualified for a set bail bond amount. The press did not specify an attorney for Simo.
According to reports, Simo was at some point charged as the caregiver of the elderly victim. It was not immediately known at press time how long Simo had been caring for the victim. During the time she spent at the victim’s home, Simo allegedly took jewelry, at least six pieces, and gradually sold it at area pawnshops, sources allege.
On July 3, the victim’s daughter realized that her mother was missing a lot of expensive jewelry. Lauderhill police officers began investigating and made a list of the health aids who had worked or been at the victim’s home in the past. This list was reportedly compared the list to a list of people who had sold jewelry at local pawnshops. Based on reports, Simo’s name came up on both lists.
A further investigation revealed that Simo pawned two pieces of jewelry on May 20 for $590; two pieces on May 24 for $345; one bracelet on June 17 for $800; and one necklace on July 4 for $1,600. The two pieces she pawned on May 20 were recovered, reports say. Overall, sources claim Simo pawned around $100,000 worth of jewelry for a total of $15,000. During each alleged pawn, Simo provided her thumb print, sources say. Detectives later confronted Simo with the allegations and placed her under arrest.
Exploitation of the elderly is prevalent throughout South Florida. In May, Christopher Snow and Kelly A. Shea of Dania Beach were arrested after they were accused of defrauding Snow’s 94-year-old grandmother, Agnes Mercurio, out of more than $7,000, sources report. Snow, 38, and Shea, 31, were booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of exploitation of the elderly for less than $20,000. Snow was handed the extra charges of dealing in stolen property, false ownership of pawned items, resisting an officer without violence, and violating probation for a drug offense. Snow was held without bond, while Shea was held in lieu of $140,000. It is unclear whether the defendants retained legal aid.
According to reports, the thefts took place between November 30 and January 26. Mercurio had been paying Snow to do household chores at her home in Dania Beach, sources allege. Snow reportedly accepted checks from Mercurio without completing the chores on some occasions; Snow also allegedly stole checks from Mercurio. Snow and Shea later cashed the checks for a total of $7,320.
Snow also allegedly stole a BOSE radio and a generator from Mercurio in February, which based on the charges, he may have allegedly pawned. It is not clear whether these items have been recovered.