Tyler woman accused of bilking disabled person in her care out of COVID-19 funds

Tyler woman accused of bilking disabled person in her care out of COVID-19 funds
Latavia Spencer, 22, was arrested on Dec. 18. She is charged with exploitation of children/disabled/elderly, a third-degree felony. (Source: Smith County Jail)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A woman has been booked into the Smith County Jail after she allegedly stole money from an assisted living facility resident in her care.

Latazia Spencer, 22, was arrested on Dec. 18. She is charged with exploitation of children/disabled/elderly, a third-degree felony.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the disabled victim lives in an assisted living home in Tyler. An investigator was assigned to the case after money was reported to have been taken out of her bank account in April 2020. The investigator was able to get a picture of the suspect from the bank’s surveillance camera.

He took the picture to show the victim, the affidavit said. When he arrived at the facility, he saw the pictured suspect working there; it was Spencer. He asked her to join him outside for privacy, and she told him that she had taken the ATM card and did not have permission to withdraw money from the woman’s account, according to the affidavit. She stated that she used the money to buy food and pay a bill.

The victim was interviewed, and she confirmed to the investigator that she did not give Spencer permission to withdraw money from her account.

The account had in it $1,200 of COVID-19 stimulus money, the investigator said, and he believes that Spencer knew that, as the four withdrawals she allegedly made totaled $1,199. I The bank investigated and the card Spencer used was a match to the card owned by the victim, the affidavit says.

Spencer remains in the Smith County Jail. She is being held on $200,000 bond.

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