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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

HCSO: Woman stole nearly $20,000 from elderly mother-in-law

Hernando Today staff report

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SPRING HILL - The Hernando County Sheriff's Office arrested a Tampa woman Tuesday accused of stealing nearly $20,000 from her mother-in-law since April.

The victim lives in Spring Hill and suffers from dementia, according to the incident report.

Law enforcement believes Rhonda Delgado, 49, took checks from the victim without her knowledge, and also changed the amounts. One check was increased from $750 to $7,500, according to detectives and the victim.

The victim said Delgado and her husband have been having money problems since losing their dry cleaning business, and that she had been helping them out financially.

Delgado also transferred money from the victim's money market account into her checking account in an effort to conceal the withdrawals.

Bank surveillance tapes confirmed it was Delgado, and not her mother-in-law, who cashed the checks.

In an interview with detectives, Delgado said the victim "had given her several thousand dollars over the last few months to assist her with paying bills," a report states.

Delgado also said she needed the money to support her addiction to cocaine and pills.

The woman was booked on charges of crimes against a person (exploitation of elderly less than $20,000), and four counts of fraud.

She remains in the Hernando County Jail, and her bond is set at $2,500.

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