HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida caretaker stands accused of duping an elderly couple that she was entrusted to care for out of thousands of dollars, and police fear there may be more victims.
Herminia Jimenez said she is disgusted and disappointed after she found out someone she trusted allegedly took advantage of her and her husband.
“We trusted her because, like I told you, she was very good with us,” Jimenez said through a translator. “She treated us very good. She brought us food and everything.”
According to Hialeah Police, Noemi Hernandez was a caretaker for the elderly. She was arrested and accused of exploiting the most vulnerable.
“She actually asked them to fill out some blank checks,” Hialeah Police Sgt. Yoshua Garfinkel said, “and she would use the excuse that every time that she needed to go make a purchase for them or pay one of their bills or do something to that effect to help them with their finances, she wouldn’t have to come and bother them.”
Instead, police said, Hernandez was pocketing the money.
“What she actually did was she would actually fill those blank checks out to her name and her boyfriend’s name and then deposit it in her account,” Garfinkel said.
Hernandez stands accused of defrauding two different victims out of nearly $17,500. Around $700 came from one victim, and the remaining amount came from Jimenez’s husband, Joaquin Valdez, according to police.
“I believe when I would leave and she was alone with him, she made him sign checks, but I don’t know,” Jimenez said.
Police said Hernandez confessed to the crime, but that is not all.
“In addition, she also confessed to reaching out to the victims during our investigation and trying to pay them off, so that they wouldn’t proceed forward with our criminal investigation,” Garfinkel said.
Hernandez appeared before a judge in Miami-Dade bond court, Wednesday morning. She faces charges that include elderly exploitation and witness tampering. The judge also handed her a no-contact order.
According to police, Hernandez said there are more victims but did not elaborate further. Investigators urge those who were under Hernandez’s care to look over their bank statements for any unusual activity.
“Please do not allow these individuals that come into your home, these caretakers, to have access to your finances,” Garfinkel said.
Despite everything that has happened, Jimenez said her and her husband feel bad for Hernandez and her family.
“Now, I feel very upset because, truthfully, I loved her,” she said.
7News reached out to Maximum Care Home Health, the company who employed Hernandez, and the person who answered the phone said she no longer works at the company but could not provide more details.
If you know someone who may have been a victim, or were a victim yourself, call Hialeah Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
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