Dana Dorris, 47, of Rock Hill was arrested Tuesday and charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult. She posted a $4,000 bond Wednesday morning.
Dorris was an employee with Senior Helpers, also known as Care Partners, based in Fort Mill. Executive director Seth Zamek said Dorris no longer works at the company.
Lynn Carney's 88-year-old mother has been a resident in the independent living area of Park Pointe Village in Rock Hill for about 11 years, Carney said. Dorris was not employed by Park Pointe. Rather, the victim's family hired her through Senior Helpers.
Carney said her mother, who is blind and has difficulty walking, was admitted to the hospital in October after a mild heart attack. The family contacted Senior Helpers and arranged for a caregiver.
Dorris' duties were to live with Carney's mother, pick up prescriptions and perform other tasks, Carney said. But beginning Nov. 15, someone started using the credit card to buy gift cards at Bi-Lo and Wal-mart, as well as for gas, Carney said. Few items were purchased for Carney's mother.
Carney reported the incident to Rock Hill Police on Nov. 21.
About $613 in unauthorized purchases were charged to Carney's mother's Discover credit card during the two weeks Dorris worked for her, according to a Rock Hill Police report.
The incident has been stressful for her mother, Carney said.
One day, Carney and her mother were having lunch together when her mother turned to her and said that if Dorris had needed anything, all she had to do was ask.
"I was so angry that someone could do something like that when we had trusted her," Carney said. "My mother deserves justice."
While Discover has agreed to take care of the unauthorized charges, Carney is asking Senior Helpers for full reimbursement of what she and her brother paid for Dorris' services.
Dorris had not been with Care Partners long, and her employment was terminated as soon as the company learned of the incidents, said Zamek, the executive director.
Zamek said the company had completed all of the typical pre-employment screens, including a criminal background check.
"There was never anything that would indicate that she'd do this," he said Wednesday. "Everyone is bonded and insured and thoroughly screened. We checked her professional references. She seemed like a caring, compassionate person."
Care Partners is conducting its own investigation, Zamek said.
"We'll do whatever we can on our end to fully cooperate," he said.
Dorris was not affiliated with the Park Pointe staff, and Carney said she doesn't blame that facility for the incident. Last month, an employee working in the assisted living division of Park Pointe was charged with murder in the death of an 82-year-old resident.
Braquette Walton, 30, whose employment has since been terminated, also is charged with cashing checks taken from the victim in that case and from an 84-year-old male resident in a separate case.
Walton is being held at the Moss Justice Center in York awaiting a Dec. 28 bond hearing.