Florida

A nursing assistant stole $18,200 with a patient’s debit card, Department of Health says

dneal@MiamiHerald.com

A Melbourne certified nursing assistant got caught using a patient’s debit card for everything from rent to Mary Kay products, the Florida Department of Health said.

Total money drained over five months by Janelle Mathurine, according to the state health department: $18,222.

Brevard County online inmate and court records turns up no arrest or case — civil or criminal — against Mathurine. it appears her lone punishment is the Florida Department of Health’s April 25 emergency restriction order (ERO), one of two in April involving theft allegations against certified nursing assistants. Pompano Beach’s Sophia Pringle faces charges after Broward Sheriff’s Office said she stole and pawned a pinky ring from an in-home care patient.

The patient/alleged victim in Mathurine’s case lived where Mathurine worked: at Wave Crest Health and Rehabilitation Center — a long-term care facility that’s one of 46 care facilities under the Gulf Coast Health Care corporate umbrella.

According to the ERO, what worried Wave Crest resident/patient W.S. on Feb. 28 wasn’t his right side hemiplegia, a paralysis that usually deadens one side of the body, but that his bank account didn’t have enough to pay his rent.

Wave Crest staff soon learned, the ERO says, that W.S. had once given Mathurine his debit card so she could use her Amazon Prime account to buy something for him.

That something wasn’t the $117.01 Mary Kay cosmetics purchase from Oct. 29, 2018, that was on W.S.’s bank statement. A co-worker said Mathurine bought the Mary Kay products from her and, the ERO said, she had the signed agreement to prove it.

The ERO claimed Mathurine ripped off W.S. from September through February.

“Ms. Mathurine admitted that after she discovered Patient. W.S.’s card was linked to her account she intentionally used Patient W.S.’s debit card information for rent, childcare, Amazon purchases, cash advances, bills, and loans,” the ERO said.

“Ms. Mathurine admitted to WCHRC staff she used Patient W.S.’s debit card multiple times without his permission because she previously experienced financial difficulty and was desperate to avoid it.”

For now, she still has her license and the ERO prohibits her “from providing healthcare services as a certified nursing assistant in any setting where Ms. Mathurine would have access to a patient’s financial information or means of payment, including cash, checks, and debit and credit cards.”

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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