Woman accused of stealing $30K from blind elderly

December 1, 2010 9:55:16 AM PST
An elderly woman's bank account was cleaned out and the people accused of leaving her broke are the ones she trusted to take care of her. The 91-year-old legally blind victim was taken for tens of thousands of dollars. It's a betrayal of trust that just breaks your heart.

"I was victimized. I'm getting so I can't trust anybody anymore. You think you know someone very well and then wham," said Geraldine Wellman.

The 91-year-old says her life has been turned upside down. Afraid for her safety, she's moved, her money gone, allegedly stolen by Kristen Bonnee, a woman who was supposed to be taking care of Wellman.

"I was really in shock the first day or so and I was on the phone trying to get some things straightened out. It was just a nightmare," said Wellman.

She personally hired Bonnee last year to be her healthcare provider - someone to come into her home and take care of her. But authorities say Bonnee helped herself to Wellman's life savings by writing her own paychecks on Wellman's account.

"She's legally blind so she would trust the defendant to write the amount. The defendant would then write the wrong amount and Ms. Wellman would sign off on the check not knowing that she had in fact paid her more than what was agreed upon," said prosecutor Nathan Moss.

Besides that, Bonne is accused of getting a Visa debit card in Wellman's name and accessing Wellman's money market account for a total of $32,000.

Howard Smith and Monica Monique Peters are co-defendants in this case, charged with theft, allegedly in cahoots with Bonnee. The court documents state they both deposited checks stolen from the elderly woman into their respective bank accounts. Smith turned himself in to authorities Tuesday night and Peters is out on bond.

"To deliberately do this, it takes a cold-hearted person," Wellman said.

Wellman is legally blind, partially deaf and can't walk without assistance, yet she's never felt helpless until now.

"I've been independent most of my life and now I'm helpless. I just feel utterly helpless," said Wellman.

Bonnee, 27, was out on bond for credit card abuse charge filed on June 13 of this year when the current theft from elderly charge was filed. She is being held in Harris County Jail on $65,000 bond.


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