EXCLUSIVE: Family says caretaker stole thousands from elderly veteran

News

A Henderson family says a home caretaker victimized their elderly father, an 89-year-old veteran, after stealing thousands from his credit cards and forging checks.

The family says that caretaker is 44-year-old Misty Bennett, who is charged with fraudulent use of a credit card and forgery.

They said they hired Bennett to care for their elderly parents.

But just months after their mother passed away from lung cancer, they knew something was very wrong.

“We thought she was a godsend to our family.”

The victim’s daughter, Dana Viars says at first, Bennett was not just a godsend, but part of the family.

“We had her come to Christmas dinners, Thanksgiving dinners.”

They were all united over the love of their 89-year-old veteran father. And everything seemed picture perfect, until it wasn’t.

“All of sudden we started noticing that my father was acting funny.”

According to a warrant obtained by Eyewitness News, the bank noticed it too. They called the police.

“They asked him if he had been paying her bills, and he said no.”

According to that warrant, Bennett told police at the bank that she had a signed note allowing her to use his account, which the victim denied. But the problems kept piling up.

“We found where she had used my mother’s credit card… somehow loaded it on her phone or remembered the number.”

Credit card records show over $2,000 worth of purchases on that card, including numerous Ipsy and Birchbox make-up boxes.

On October 30th, police arrested Bennett, but she bonded out. The Viars say they’re still fighting.

“What we are told of at this point is that she has another person’s finances that she’s taking care of…”

They filed an abuse claim with Adult Protective Services, which the Cabinet substantiated.

But they say the damage has already been done to their father.

“He doesn’t like to see the bad in people… and he had grown very attached to her. […] He doesn’t trust anybody anymore.”

Bennett, who is also listed as Misty Walters, will be arraigned in Henderson County Circuit Court on November 26th.

“We just want people to realize that just because you hire somebody to come into your home, it doesn’t always mean that they’re there for the right reasons. Because we really thought she was there for us. We thought she was part of our family.”

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