HOUSTON – A Houston-area health care worker who is accused of stealing from her elderly patients has two felony warrants out for her arrest.
Brittany Nicole Kelly, 30, is a wanted woman. Kelly has a criminal history spanning over several years for misdemeanor thefts.
Last July, Kelly was charged in Harris County with two felony thefts for fraudulent use of identifying information of the elderly. Warrants were issued for her arrest.
Kelly is accused of stealing the identity of an elderly Houston couple while working in their home as a caretaker for Right At Home In-Home Care & Assistance. The timeline of the alleged crimes spanned12 months, from June 2019 to June 2020.
Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, said Texas has very strict laws requiring healthcare workers to undergo background checks, but there are loopholes.
“The state of Texas has actually taken measures to ensure that people with criminal records and arrest records don’t end up working in these types of positions,” Mankarious said. “But, ultimately, people still take it upon themselves to find their own person to come into their home and take care of an aging person or maybe deal with agencies that aren’t really following the law, and that’s where you end up with this gray space.”
According to court documents, the then 86-year-old male victim said upon checking his financial transactions, he noticed checked were forged in his name, money was withdrawn from his bank accounts and credit cards were opened in his now-deceased wife’s name. More than $70,933.50 was stolen from the couple. Of that amount, $8,880 was used to pay Kelly’s rent and $374.54 was charged on a credit card to purchase hair extensions.
The elderly man said he never gave Kelly consent and believe she took up to 11 identifying information from him and his wife because she had access to their home and could have easily obtained their personal information, checks and credit cards.
Mankarious said families can protect their elderly loved ones from these types of violations by keeping banking information out of the reach of caregivers, have insurance cards on file with their doctor’s office instead, ensure healthcare agencies are accredited, and be aggressive by asking questions.
“They should be aggressive in making sure that your loved ones are safe,” she said. “And I think a lot of us assume that’s already going to be handled and we don’t ask. You gotta be aggressive and ask.”
KPRC 2 reached out to Right At Home In-Home Care & Assistance for comment but had not heard back as of Monday night.
Kelly remains on the run. Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a reward leading up to her arrest.