41-year-old Meridian woman charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult

A Meridian woman who took thousands of dollars from a 78-year-old Eagle man she was providing in-home care is set to make her next court appearance later this month.

Bernice M. Rangel is charged with a felony count of abuse, exploitation, or neglect of a vulnerable adult.

The 41-year-old Rangel turned herself in at the jail Wednesday and left the next afternoon after posting a $50,000 bond. Rangel has a preliminary hearing set for May 26.

Detectives began their investigation in February after being contacted by a third party, who said there were suspicious withdrawals from the man’s financial accounts and charges to his credit cards for items he did not need.

Detectives found evidence of tens of thousands of dollars being paid to Rangel from the man’s financial accounts since at least August 2014 — funds that more than doubled what Rangel’s time sheets indicated her salary was supposed to be.

Detectives also found evidence Rangel used the man’s credit cards to pay her utility bills and purchase items like car tires and women’s clothes.

Ada County prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Rangel on May 9.

The felony crime of abuse, exploitation on neglect of a vulnerable adult is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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