A Florida woman, who worked as a middle school teacher, is accused of stealing more than $66,000 from her grandmother since 2018, authorities said.
Laura Pollard Ramos, 40, was arrested at Dundee Ridge Middle Academy in Winter Haven and charged with felony counts of grand theft of a person over 65 years of age, scheming to defraud over $50,000 and fraudulent use of a credit card, The Ledger of Lakeland reported. She also was charged with three counts of criminal use of personal identification.
According to Judd, Ramos had been named her 83-year-old grandmother’s power of attorney in 2013 due to the woman’s declining health. At the time, the victim’s monthly housing expenses averaged $550 per month. She did not have any credit cards and spent between $200 to $400 a month on incidentals, WFTS reported.
Deputies said in early 2018, the grandmother sold her home for about $80,000, the Ledger reported. She deposited $71,000 into her checking account and only had between three to six transactions per month, WTSP reported.
Judd said Ramos began taking proceeds from the 2018 sale of her grandmother’s home after the second signatory on the woman’s bank account died.
Deputies said the victim became alarmed in October when she received a PayPal credit card she had not applied for, WTVT reported. The woman called family members, and discovered there was no money left in her account, the television station reported. Family members added funds to her account and then called authorities, the Ledger reported.
Between November 2018 and November 2019, the victim’s account was reduced from $66,836 to a negative balance of -$193.00, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies said they discovered that Ramos had been depleting her grandmother’s account and maxed out three credit cards in her grandmother’s name, WTSP reported.
Ramos’ grandmother, who is not named, died in February 2020, the Ledger reported. According to Polk County Public School policy, Ramos, who has worked in the county since 2008, will be fired.