Mountain Home, Ark. woman charged for credit card fraud and embezzling funds as elderly woman’s caregiver

Shelah Ellison.
Shelah Ellison.(KY3)
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT
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MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (KY3) - A Mountain Home woman faces criminal charges for embezzling funds and committing credit card fraud as a caregiver of an elderly woman.

Shelah L. Ellison, 49, faces felony charges for fraudulent use of credit card, obtaining a signature by deception and theft of property.

Ellison’s arrest came after a complaint was filed to the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.

According to the complaint, Ellison had embezzled funds and committed credit card fraud after being hired as a caregiver for an elderly woman. While working as a caregiver, Ellison had agreed with the woman daily wage for Monday through Friday and would be paid at the first of the month for the upcoming month’s work.  Ellison was later asked to also provide assistance to the woman on the weekends for a separate agreed-upon amount of compensation.

At an unspecified time, the woman provided Ellison a credit card to purchase groceries and supplies. During this time, investigators say Ellison used blank pre-signed checks on the woman’s account to pay the woman’s monthly bills and would maintain the woman’s check book register for her.

In July, 2021, an unpaid bill was discovered that was supposed to have been paid Ellison.  Bank statements were researched to see if a check for the bill had cleared the account.  During this research, unusual large transactions on the account were discovered, and the victim’s daughter was contacted and made aware of them. 

Subsequent research uncovered many unauthorized transactions on the woman’s bank accounts and credit card.  These included a transaction of $45,000 used to pay off ELLISON’S personal vehicle.

In total, there was evidence that $62,637.64 of the elderly woman’s money had been taken by Ellison and had been used without the victim’s consent or authorization.  When confronted by relatives, Ellison repaid the $45,000 she had used to pay off her vehicle.

After interviewing with Baxter County authorities, Ellison turned herself in at the Baxter County Detention Center on October 28.

Ellison was released from custody after posting $50,000 bond.  She will appear before the Circuit Court to answer on Nov. 18.

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