An aged care nurse faced the Gosford Local Court last week after pleading guilty to seven counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception, from crimes that date back to 2019.
According to reports, Kaleb Barrett, 24, had been working as a nurse at the Royal Freemasons Benevolent Institute (RFBI) at West Wyalong, NSW, in 2019 when he obtained the credit cards of three residents.
The thefts were first noticed in May 2019 when the daughter of a resident noticed taxi fares being charged to her elderly mother’s account. The woman then contacted the taxi company who revealed the identity of Mr Barrettt as the taxi passenger.
In the following month, the family of another resident at the RFBI noticed a tax invoice in his mail for a $1,300 iPad and internet plan that had been delivered to Mr Barrett’s aunty’s home.
The bulk of illegal purchases were made on the credit card of a third resident at the same nursing home. According to an agreed set of facts, Mr Barrett used this resident’s card to make 46 transactions totalling close to $12,000.
While it’s not clear if Mr Barrett was asked to leave the RFBI, he then decided to move to the suburb of Ettalong Beach and got a job working at the Chamberlain Gardens aged care facility in Wyoming.
It was here Mr Barrett obtained the credit card of an 84-year-old resident who was hospitalised due to a fall and then used that credit card to make another slew of unauthorised purchases.
Just days after Mr Barret’s first shift at the home, the 84-year-old resident’s wife was contacted by her husband’s bank and alerted to the suspicious activity.
The victim’s wife then passed on the fraudster’s email address to the aged care facility where it was recognised by a manager who had recently received correspondence from Mr Barret on the same email address.
The nursing home swiftly contacted police who arrested Mr Barrett and seized electronic equipment that included an Apple Macbook Pro and iPhone 12.
The aged care nurse was sentenced to a nine-month intensive corrections order, which includes over 150 hours of community service. He has also been ordered to repay a total of $14,128.81 to the victims of his crimes.