Caregiver allegedly steals thousands of dollars from elderly cou - KMOV.com

Caregiver allegedly steals thousands of dollars from elderly couple

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Melinda McClellan is accused of stealing thousands from an elderly couple in O'Fallon, Mo. Melinda McClellan is accused of stealing thousands from an elderly couple in O'Fallon, Mo.
O'FALLON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

It's a strong warning for anyone looking to hire a caregiver for their elderly parents. 

An O'Fallon, Missouri family is speaking out after their horrific experience. The family says the caregiver stole thousands of dollars from them. Now they want the former caregiver held accountable. 

"She seemed to be great after a while it was a joke between us boys all of a sudden we had a sister we didn't know we had," says Harold Hogarth. 

Hogarth says he hired Melinda McClellan to take care of his parents because they were getting older. 

"I felt really close with her because she could tell them where things were," says Mary Hogarth. 

Soon after, the family says they hit some rough times. Hogarth says his mom had back surgery and his dad passed away. 

"After my father passed away, we started getting some notices from credit card companies saying you've got some charges that just don't seem right." 

That was the first of many red flags. 

"We found approximately $37,500 was taken out of their accounts through credit cards and checks that neither of my parents signed," says Hogarth. 

Prosecutors charged McCellan with fraud, forgery and theft. Hogarth's attorney says this is a different type of crime. 

"It is different then someone that goes into a store and steals because this is more personal and they have a higher level of culpability," says Debora Alessi. 

"It hurts not to be treated right. I thought of the older people that wasn't as fortunate as I was in their married years and they are really strapped what is this going to do to them?" says Mary Hogarth. 

A plea hearing is scheduled for mid March.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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