NEW BRITAIN, CT —A home health aide has been charged with defrauding a client, according to a statement from federal prosecutors. Philliann Barnett, 42, a Jamaican citizen residing in New Britain, was charged with bank fraud stemming from her alleged theft of money from a disabled client she worked as a home health aide for.
In 2003, Barnett was convicted in the Eastern District of New York for defrauding an individual who suffered from cerebral palsy. In that case, she opened credit cards in the victim’s name and used the cards for her personal expenses, according to prosecutors.
She was later convicted in Connecticut superior court of larceny and identity theft for defrauding an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
In late August last year, after serving about five years in prison, Barnett was released. Shortly after her release from prison while she was on probation, Barnett, using the alias “Philliann Burke,” applied to be a home health aide for a company that serviced disabled veterans receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Barnett, who did not disclose her criminal history to the company, began working for the company Sept. 11, 2020.
In November, while caring for a disabled veteran, Barnett forged the veteran’s signature on a check and deposited the check into her account, according to prosecutors. In February 2021, law enforcement investigating Barnett learned of a separate complaint from a resident of an assisted living facility in the Waterbury area where Barnett purportedly worked.
The person alleged that Barnett stole money from their checking account and deposited it into her own account using the “Cash App” cell phone application.
Barnett was released on $75,000 bond into home incarceration.
Bank fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.
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