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Home health aide caught stealing 94-year-old patient’s medication

DAYTONA BEACH – Volusia sheriff’s deputies arrested a home health aide Monday on charges she stole a 94-year-old Edgewater woman’s medication and used her credit card to make more than $1,000 in fraudulent purchases.

Cory Whealen, 35, of Daytona Beach, was arrested Monday afternoon after an investigation into the missing pills and credit card charges that occurred throughout the month of January.

The victim, who has home health aides assisting her 24 hours a day, had a bottle of Tramadol tablets go missing sometime between Jan. 18 and Jan. 21. A few days after a family member reported the missing pills, the bottle was discovered behind the victim’s bed, where it appeared they’d been misplaced. However, a couple of weeks later, on closer inspection, it was discovered the pills in the bottle were actually ibuprofen tablets.

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That led the family member to investigate further. She discovered that when the pill bottle was found behind the bed, it was because Whealen insisted a pest control worker move the bed to spray for bugs.
The family member was also looking into several suspicious charges on the victim’s credit card, and reported them to the bank and the Sheriff’s Office. The charges totaled $1,031.52 and included a purchase of 28 Hydrocodone pills prescribed to the victim. When that bottle was checked, it was discovered those pills had been swapped out with acetaminophen.

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In two instances, Whealen made purchases with the victim’s credit card and then submitted receipts for reimbursement from the victim for the items she purchased – causing the victim to pay for the items twice.

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Whealen was charged with exploitation of an elderly person, neglect of an elderly person, 2 counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, theft of a credit card, 13 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, 2 counts of fraud in obtaining a medicinal drug and 2 counts of petit theft.

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Whealen was booked Monday afternoon and released from jail Monday night after posting $30,000 bond.

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