OCSO: Navarre woman charged with bilking elderly woman out of nearly $600,000
NAVARE, Fla. (WALA) - A Navarre woman is facing charges after the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said she defrauded a woman in her 90s out of more than half a million dollars over an 18 month period.
Forty-five-year-old Sheena Russell was a arrested and is charged with theft over $100,000, organized scheme to defraud more than $50,000 and elderly exploitation. She was later released on bond later Thursday.
OCSO investigator Mike Kruger said the thefts from the victim’s trust and bank accounts took place between March 30, 2020 and Sept. 22, 2021 and exceeded $582,647.
The victim is now 99 years old. Russell, who knew the victim and her late husband for a number of years, had served them as a waitress at a Fort Walton Beach restaurant and started doing errands for the victim after her husband passed away, authorities said.
The OCSO investigation began after a complaint by the victim’s brother, who lives out of state.
According to the sheriff’s office, Russell claimed she and the victim had a joint business venture, while the victim said she did not give Russell consent to withdraw or transfer any money from her accounts.
Authorities said the investigation shows that among other things, Russell used funds from the victim to help pay off her mortgage, buy a vehicle, and fund trips to Walt Disney World, Pigeon Forge Tennessee, the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, and Washington, D.C., as well as a ski trip to Utah.
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