Sheriff’s Investigators arrest nurse after theft from patients

Sheriff’s Investigators arrest nurse after theft from patients

Investigators from Cobb County Sheriff’s Office Fraud Unit have arrested 38 year old April Echols of Loganville after she used stolen credit cards to make almost $10,000 in fraudulent purchases.

Victim 1 – Family members of a 68 year old ALS patient discovered suspicious activity on the male victim’s account including the purchase of two money orders from Publix each for $2,000 and several ATM withdrawals. In total the victim’s account was charged for $4,709 dollars.

Victim 2- During the investigation it was determined that a second victim, a 69 year old female, had two credit cards stolen and $4,526 dollars in transactions were conducted at Walmart, QT and Walgreens. After over $31,000 dollars of attempted transactions were declined on the credit card, Echols called the credit card company using the victims identifying information to convince the issuing company to start approving credit charges.

A third patient later reported to investigators that she had observed Echols knock over a table in her hospital room that contained several items including her credit cards. After Echols returned the items to the table the patient noticed one of her credit cards missing and called the issuing company to cancel the card.

Echols was employed by a nursing services agency and was temporarily working at Anderson Mill Health and Rehabilitation Center in Austell during December. She was taken into custody by investigators today without incident. She is currently in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center charged with 2 counts of Exploitation of a disabled or elderly person and 7 counts of Credit Card Fraud-Financial Transaction. Bond has been set at $50,000.

Investigators believe Echols may have victimized other patients and are asking anyone with additional information to contact investigators at 770-499-4670

The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips to help avoid becoming a victim of financial fraud.

Tip 1: Place personal belongings such as Debit/Credit cards, check book, Social Security card, bank records or any other personal identifiers in a secure location when staying in a hospital, rehab center, assisted living facility, etc. Credit cards and other personal and important documents with sensitive information is best if kept at home and not at the facilities.

Tip 2: Never be afraid to report suspicious activity or fraud. Any suspected fraud and/or theft can be reported to Adult Protective Services or your local law enforcement agency.

Tip 3: Consider placing a security freeze on your or your loved one’s credit.

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