Two women have been charged in Lewis County Superior Court with stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a 78-year-old Centralia woman they were paid to care for, according to court documents.
Edith L. Ivey, 54, of Oakville was charged last week with one count of first-degree theft with aggravating factors accusing her of abusing a “particularly vulnerable” victim and committing a “major economic offense.”
Ivey appeared in court Thursday and was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.
Ivey is the second caregiver charged with first-degree theft for stealing from the 78-year-old woman requiring full-time care.
In February, Rachel Jeffrey, 37, of Chehalis was charged with first-degree theft in the case. A hearing in her case is scheduled for May 4.
According to court documents, the Centralia Police Department first began investigating the thefts on Dec. 23. A woman reported she believed her 78-year-old grandmother’s caregivers were stealing money from her by having the woman write checks to cash, or writing checks for more hours than the caregivers worked.
The granddaughter found her grandmother had paid $146,713 to four caregivers — including Jeffery and Ivey — for services in 2017, an estimated $63,000 more than she owed. The family learned of the alleged thefts in December when the woman began receiving notices from her bank of bounced checks and insufficient funds.
The granddaughter said the victim was “trusting her caregivers to be honest to write in their own pay per hour that they worked.”
Police investigated and found that Jeffery started with a wage of $2,750 per month in pay and worked up to $12,330 per month within six months.
Ivey’s pay spiked to more than $6,510 in October 2017.
The caregivers were paid with checks pre-signed by the victim. The victim’s granddaughter reported the caregivers were charging the woman for the same sets of hours, despite them not working at the same time. She was also occasionally charged for more nights of work than there were in a given month. In one month she was charged for 57 overnight stays when only one caregiver worked at a time.