Local News

Home-Care Worker Charged With Using Her Client's Identity

Posted February 1, 2007 1:21 a.m. EST

— A former home-care giver was in jail Wednesday, charged with stealing from an elderly woman for whom she cared.

It's not the first time the suspect has been in trouble for this type of crime.

An overdue bill was the first indication something wasn't right.

Mattie Spruill, 71, had not used a credit card issued to her, but there were nearly $500 worth of charges on a bill she received.

"I said I better call the police because something is wrong," Spruill said.

Raleigh police investigated, and they charged that Jeanette Wright, 53, stole Spruill's credit card and much more. Investigators said she used Spruill's name and Social Security number to open various credit card accounts, charging more than $11,000.

"It looks like she went shopping everyday," Spruill said.

"I thought she was nice, talking about the Bible, talking about the church," said Spruill.

Wright's rap sheet tells a different story, however. Her criminal history covers about a dozen pages of police computer printout, from breaking and entering to drug charges. The most common offenses are for credit card fraud and identity theft, charges for which has served time in jail.

Wright worked for Carolina Staffing and Home Health Inc.

Her boss, who would not speak to WRAL on camera, said the company does background checks, but he was unaware of Wright's lengthy criminal history.

The company is licensed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Facility Services.

"They're supposed to be protecting me," Spruill said. She said the company let her down, but insists it won't happen again. She now keeps all of her valuables locked up, and only she has the key.

Wright is being held at the Wake County Jail on $85,000 bond and was scheduled for a Thursday arraignment.