Jul 19, 2012 1:31 AM

Elder abuse, theft and fraud allegations

TUCSON - Two health care workers are accused in two seperate crimes against the elderly, people they were hired to care for.

Court documents detail alleged physical abuse and fraud, including forged checks.

Jennifer Lopshire is a registered nurse, hired to care for an 88 year old woman suffering from alzheimer's and diabetes.

'A cut, bruising and swelling on her upper lip' prompted Lopshire's co-worker to call authorities.

When picked up by police, Lopshire denied any wrong doing claiming the elderly woman 'injured her lip on the velcro strap of her safety harness'.

The 88 year old woman tells a different story. When asked how she got the cut and bruises, the woman put the blame on Lopshire saying 'she lost her temper' and 'they hit her with their hand'.

Tucsonans News 4 talked to, call the report upsetting.

Gwen Smith says, "Well my parents aren't at that place in their lives yet, but it does make me wonder what kind of things are in place to keep that from happening."

"It just kind of makes you wonder, you'll want to do more of a background check on people you hire to bring into your houses," says William Sharpe.

In the second case Shanna Lynn Harper and her boyfriend Thomas Bonds are accused of stealing from a 78 year old woman with dementia.

Police say over a three year period, they forged checks totaling more than $130 thousand dollars.
Harper was an in-home caregiver who hired bonds as the woman's gardner.

Although unrelated these alleged crimes hit close to home for Alexander Sibaja. His mom's caregiver stole hundreds of dollars before her death.

"It actually made my mother worse, her knowing someone took the money, she felt like it was her fault. And not at all was it her fault, " says Sibaja.

All three suspects are out of jail pending their next court date.

They either posted bond or were released to pre-trial services.


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