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 November 26th, 2013  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara announces arrest of caretaker for stealing $162,200 from legally blind, elderly woman
St. Lucie County Sheriff's investigators have charged the caregiver of a legally blind, 88-year-old woman with stealing $162,200 from the woman, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"It is shameful that Maria Daley, 42, of Port St. Lucie, used her position of trust to steal a large sum of money from a woman who was legally blind and suffering from the infirmities of age," Sheriff Mascara said. "Our detectives arrested her for the first-degree felony of grand theft from an elderly person."

Detectives arrested  Daley Friday. The next day, she was released from the St. Lucie County jail on $50,000 bond.

Investigators determined that the woman who employed Daley as a caregiver intended to pay her $200 a week. The woman said that Daley filled out the checks and that the woman, who is 88 and legally blind, signed them, though she could not see well enough to read them. Daley then used the money to pay her mortgage and for other living expenses which enabled her to live beyond her means, Sheriff Mascara said.

The woman's son discovered the thefts by examining his mother's bank account records. He has since moved his mother to Massachusetts.

The thefts took place from July 2012 through June 2013.

Sheriff Mascara has this advice for those with loved ones who have a caregiver: "It's a good idea to examine the financial records of how the caregiver is paid to make sure there is no fraud or embezzlement taking place."

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