The owner of an assisted living facility in St. Petersburg was arrested on Tuesday after being accused of using the credit card of one of the facility's deceased patients.
Maria Isabel Matos Infante, 43, was charged with 16 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, 8 counts of fraudulent use of personnel information, and 6 counts of operating an unlicensed assisted living facility. Additional charges are still pending, officials said.
Detectives served a search warrant at the Access Adult Family Care Home at 2895 38th Avenue N. around 9 a.m. after a woman reported fraudulent charges being made on her deceased mother's credit card. Her mother passed away on May 31, at the facility of "apparent" natural causes.
The daughter noticed over 20 charges made in mid-May totaling over $2,000. The charges were made at restaurants, department stores, grocery stores and gas stations.
The daughter went to several locations to view the surveillance footage of the card being used and was surprised to see that Matos Infante, the owner of the Access Adult Family Care Home, was the one using the credit card.
After the daughter reported the charges, detectives found at least 10 other potential victims of either identity theft, credit card fraud or both.
At this point it's not known if some of these other victims are patients or family of patients, but several do not appear to be affiliated with the facility at all.
Additionally, detectives learned the facility's license to run an assisted living facility, which has been open since 2013, expired.
The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration and the Department of Health is now investigating the home.
There were no allegations of any physical or mental abuse made against Matos Infante or employees of the facility.
At the time the search warrant was served the facility had six patients and arrangement for their transportation and care was being made with relatives.
DCF investigators and EMS personnel were on hand to assess their health and need for any medical treatment, but at the time of this release no acute issues have been noted.
Matos Infante was at the facility when the warrant was served and was placed under arrest at that time.
Detectives will also be looking into the possibility that others affiliated with Matos Infante may be involved.
If anyone may have any information on Matos Infante's activities they are asked to please call the St. Petersburg Police at 727-893-7780 or use the anonymous Tip-411! Text "SPPD" and your tip to 847-411 (Tip-411).
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