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Batesville nursing assistant charged after taking financial advantage of elderly

A Batesville woman has been charged with 22 felonies after being caught taking financial advantage of some of Batesville’s elderly.

According to court info, Batesville Police Department Criminal Investigator Fred Friar was brought into the case when the manager of Eagle Mountain Assisted Living, Sheila Gates, informed him that several residents had received letters from various businesses advising them they had either been approved or been denied credit cards. Some of the companies were Fingerhut, JCPenney, Belk, and Walmart. None of the residents who received letters had made applications for credit to any of the businesses.

Through an extensive investigation, Friar found that a certified nursing assistant at Eagle Mountain Assisted Living, Alisha Ann Cook, 34, had illegally obtained personal information of residents and made applications in their names with credit cards to be sent to her address.

The court records said it was also discovered that Cook had stolen a credit card from one resident who had passed away. The woman’s daughter found that her late mother’s credit card had been used 10 times after her mother had passed. One purchase was used at Walmart online to purchase $580 worth of groceries, and another to pay local utility bills. Friar quickly followed up on that to find the service address, and thus, the person who lived there. Security footage from Walmart also showed the person who made the online grocery purchase pick up. These two transactions led the investigation to Cook.

Friar said there was also an instance in which another employee’s purse at Eagle Mountain was stolen with several credit cards being compromised and fraudulent transactions occurring in the victim’s checking account.

Through warrants, a check was made of trash from the suspect’s residence and the residence itself. Evidence in abundance was found along with illegal drugs, hidden firearms, and notebooks filled with names, dates of birth, social security numbers and email addresses. Friar said most of these names were current Eagle Mountain Assisted Living residents.

Cook was interviewed after she was advised of her Miranda Rights where she waived the right to have an attorney, according to court info. Friar said during the interview, Cook admitted to accessing the patient software program at Eagle Mountain Assisted Living, then obtaining patient information to later use as a financial resource. The court documents also said Cook admitted to being in possession of illegal drugs, namely crystal methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and firearms.

The 22 felony counts filed against Alisha Ann Cook were: four counts of theft; 10 counts of financial identity fraud; fraudulent use of a credit or debit card; possession of a controlled substance; three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia; simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms; unlawful use of a communication device; and unauthorized use of another person’s property to facilitate certain crimes.

Cook is in custody awaiting a court appearance.

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