Caregiver Accused of Stealing from Elderly Client

Arrested for Allegedly Forging Checks and Making Unauthorized ATM Transactions

Sarah Benson

A 21-year-old self-employed caregiver was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 from her elderly client over a period of one year and four months. Sarah Benson, a UCSB graduate and the owner of Sarah Benson In-Home Care, is booked in County Jail with bail set at $50,000. She’s charged with felony embezzlement, forgery, and financial elder abuse by a caregiver.

Sarah Benson

According to police, detectives received a call from a Montecito Bank and Trust employee on February 3. The employee relayed that an elderly customer — the victim — accompanied by a caregiver came to the bank complaining that a different caregiver — Benson — was stealing from him. (The caregiver with the customer was one of Benson’s employees.) The incident was also reported to Santa Barbara County Adult Protective Services.

The 71-year-old victim stated that Benson had recently made six unauthorized ATM transactions and written four forged checks to herself, amounting to a loss of $7,971.63. Upon further investigation, detectives determined that the victim suffered a total loss of $53,121.63 taken by Benson between October 2010 through January 2012.

The victim, said police, is a Mesa resident who suffers from ataxia, which severely limits his ability to coordinate muscle movements. He told authorities that Benson had worked for him as a caregiver for a few years and had earned his trust. Benson initially worked for a caregiver agency, but started her own business in 2011.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.