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Senior speaks out about OC caregiver suspect

June 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Friday, a 93-year-old woman who says she's one of the victims of an Orange County caregiver who's accused of ripping off his patients spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News.

"Louise" knew something was wrong when she looked at her credit card statement last April. The 93-year-old only wants to use her first name.

"I said '$3,200? I've been in the hospital for almost seven weeks now,'" said "Louise," who only wanted to be identified by her first name.

"Louise" was undergoing rehabilitation at Villa Valencia in Laguna Hills for several weeks, where Jaime Corpus, a nursing assistant, was caring for her.

"I thought he was one of the nicest aides around," said Louise.

Authorities say Louise is one of at least three seniors allegedly preyed on by the 44-year-old suspect.

"The suspect would take a credit card out of the elderly victims' wallets. They generally wouldn't notice, they were in the hospital or in rehab," said Orange County Sheriff's Dept. Spokesman Jim Amormino.

Police arrested Corpus Thursday after he left Villa Valencia, where he worked since 2009.

Authorities started investigating him after the son of a 98-year-old man noticed discrepancies in his father's account. Corpus cared for the 98-year-old.

Surveillance video shows Corpus using the senior's credit card at a Target store in Santa Ana buying a number of items. He's also seen at an ATM withdrawing money. Police allege Corpus also used the stolen credit cards at other stores, including a Chevron and a Home Depot.

Louise says her credit card had about $5,000 worth of charges on it.

Authorities say Corpus was terminated from his job at Villa Valencia.

Sunrise Senior Living, the company that manages Villa Valencia, released a statement Friday: "Our number one concern, above all else, is the safety and comfort of our residents. We are cooperating fully with the police as well as completing a thorough internal investigation into this matter. We take our commitment to our residents and families seriously, and do not tolerate inappropriate activity in our community. As this matter is under investigation, we cannot discuss it in any more detail at this time."

Corpus faces numerous charges including burglary, identity theft and elder financial abuse.

"I'd say you're a stupid fool thinking you could get away with harming people, some of whom were possibly bedridden except for being wheeled out for a meal," said Louise.

Corpus was a private nursing assistant for 20 years. Authorities suspect there may be other victims. If you have information related to the case, contact the Orange County Sheriff's Dept. at (866) TIP-OCSD.

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