A home health care nurse is accused of stealing his elderly patient's credit card and racking up more than $400 worth of fraudulent purchases. According to the Hernando Sheriff's Office, the elderly woman may not be the only victim.
"We don’t stand for taking advantage of elderly people like that,” HCSO Detective Dustin Mormando said. "We definitely try to focus on putting full effort into those types of investigations."
Deputies said an 88-year-old female patient of Titus Houston, 41, suffers from dementia and Alzheimer's. He traveled from his Spring Hill home to the woman's Tampa home to take care of her, according to a report.
Mormando said the victim contacted authorities in April after discovering her credit card was used in 27 fraudulent transactions. Many of those purchases were captured on surveillance video.
But the big break in the case happened when detectives said Houston used the stolen credit card to pay for his cable bill, leading deputies straight to his home. "He admitted to being the one in the surveillance videos," Mormando said, "and he eventually wound up confessing to using the credit card and to making the transactions in question."
Houston was arrested Wednesday on one count of exploitation of an elderly disabled adult. He was released from jail on $2,000 bond.
Bay News 9 found Houston at his home on Thursday, but he did not open the front door. He later called and said his situation is a misunderstanding, and said his side of the story will come out in court. He didn't speak on camera, because he hadn't yet hired an attorney.
Mormando said Houston admitted that he knew the victim's judgment was impaired and believes there may be a potential second victim.
"I’ve been in contact with his employer and they had fired him about two weeks ago," the lawyer said, "because they had received another recent complaint about something similar. Which I’ll be investigating here pretty soon."