On Tuesday, September 13, 20111, Polk County Sheriff’s Office Fraud detectives arrested 41-year-old Cathy L. McClain, 605 Sunway Lane, Winter Haven, charging her with the ID Theft, Over 30 Victims.
McClain, a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Brandywyne Healthcare Center, 1801 N. Lake Mariam Dr. in Winter Haven, where she was employed at the time of her arrest, was also charged with Grand Theft and Scheme to Defraud.
As an employee of the Healthcare Center, McClain had access to patient records. McClain collected patient’s names, birth dates, and social security numbers and in turn supplied that information via text message to 30-year-old Derail Bess, 642 Brookshire Drive, Davenport. Bess, who was arrested on 08-16-11, would then take the names and personal information and would convert the information into funds on “Turbo Tax” debit cards.
“McClain used her employment as a means to commit these crimes,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “She not only took advantage of her defenseless elderly victims at the healthcare facility, she, and her accomplice Bess, victimized you and me by converting stolen identity into cash through Turbo Tax returns. This resulted in thousands of our tax dollars being stolen.”
At the time of Bess’ arrest, he had in his possession the records for 83 patients at the facility. Bess would have the Turbo Tax refunds sent to other addresses in an attempt to hide his criminal activity. In addition, Bess had obtained credit and debit cards in the names of 16 patients. Those credit cards had been used to purchase money orders and Wal-Mart credit cards.
Evidence indicates that McClain was given at least $1000.00 by Bess for providing the personal information of patients. Detectives made contact with a number of current patients victimized by this Identity Theft operation. Many of the elderly patients have other people as their "Power of Attorney" and detectives will continue attempts to work with those individuals as well.
McClain refused to answer any questions. This investigation is on-going.