ATLANTA -- A Douglas County woman has been arraigned in federal court for abandoning an elderly woman at an Alabama hospital and stealing her benefits.
Cathy Jean Thomas, 59, has been charged with false statements, wire fraud and representative payee fraud.
She is accused of dropping off her patient, Edith Allen, at an emergency room in Blount County, Ala., in August 2010 and driving away without giving hospital staff any information about the woman.
Allen was unable to speak or communicate in any way with the hospital. She remained unidentified until August 2013, when the Alabama Bureau of Investigation used fingerprints and facial recognition to gather information about her past.
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Police determined Thomas continued to collect Allen's monthly Social Security benefits after abandoning her. Thomas received roughly $25,000 during the three years Allen was in Alabama.
Thomas was arraigned Feb. 7. Her trial will begin at a later date.