AG: Pensacola caregivers abandoned elderly resident on road after stealing debit card, ID – Pensacola News Journal

Pensacola News Journal  |  USA TODAY NETWORK

Two employees of a Pensacola assisted living facility are accused of stealing an elderly resident’s ID and debit card before abandoning the person on the side of the road in 2019.

Tavetta Lavetta Jones, 35, and Tekera Levine, 39, were arrested during the weekend on charges related to abuse and exploitation of a senior after an investigation by Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

In a news release announcing the women’s arrests, Moody called the case “horrifying” and said the women face serious charges for their criminal scheme.

“The scheme concocted and carried out by these two caregivers is horrifying — the women abused their positions to steal a patient’s ID and debit card, then abandoned the senior victim on the side of the road,” Moody said in the release.

AG: Elderly resident left on road without phone, water, ID

The two women were both working at Whispering Pines Assisted Living Facility in Pensacola when they were tasked with transferring an elderly patient to sign bond paperwork on Sept. 3, 2019.

But instead, Jones and Levine, her manager, abandoned the senior on Antioch Cemetery Road in Walton County and took the person’s identification card and debit card, according to the news release.

They left the senior without a phone, water, money or identification on a particularly hot day, the release added.

The senior later identified Jones and Levine as the employees who orchestrated the scheme and also identified a black Volkswagen as the car Jones was driving during the incident.

More Pensacola crime news:

Pensacola man who killed 26-year-old in 2019 sentenced to prison for manslaughter

FHP: Pensacola accused drunk driver crashed pickup truck into motorcycle and fled

Police: Pensacola man beat woman and her dog, tried to stab dog with knife

Levine, the manager of Whispering Pines, gave varying accounts about what happened, but phone records placed both women in Walton County at about the time that law enforcement responded to a 911 call by residents on Antioch Cemetery Road, according to the news release.

Phone records also placed Jones near ATMs where the senior’s debit card and PIN were used to access their bank account.

Video footage also placed a black Volkswagen or similar vehicle at the ATMs during the transactions involving the victim’s debit card and PIN.

Charges and possible sentences

Jones has been charged with one count of exploitation of an elderly person, a third-degree felony; one count of criminal use of personal identification information of a person over 60 years of age and one count of criminal use of personal identification information over $5,000, both second-degree felonies.

If convicted on all counts, Jones faces a sentence of up to 35 years in state prison.

Jones was booked into the Escambia County Jail on Friday evening. Her bond was set at $17,500 and she was released from jail shortly after being taken into custody.

Levine is charged with one count of accessory after the fact, a third-degree felony. If convicted, she faces a sentence of up to five years in state prison. 

Levine was booked into jail Saturday morning with a $5,000 bond. She was released from jail the same day.

The cases will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Christi Hankins of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit through an agreement with First Judicial Circuit State Attorney Ginger Bowden Madden, state attorney for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida.