Primghar, Iowa — A Paullina woman has been charged with five felony counts after authorities alleged she defrauded a person she was caring for.
According to a statement released by O’Brien County Sheriff Michael Anderson, his deputies recently arrested 36-year-old Rebecca Anna Marie Rutledge of Paullina on an O’Brien County arrest warrant. The arrest warrant was for three counts of Forgery, one count of Theft 2nd degree and one count of Credit Card Fraud. All five of the charges are Class D felonies.
The statement says Rutledge was charged with these crimes following a lengthy investigation by an O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office investigator and a Special Agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. Anderson says the investigation began in late September of 2015 after information was received that Rutledge, who was working as an in home health care worker for an elderly O’Brien County citizen, had gained access to the individual’s debit card and personal checking account and was allegedly using it for her own financial gain. The alleged criminal activity occurred between June of 2015 and September of 2015 and resulted in over $7500 in various transactions.
He says the investigators worked for several months obtaining documentation that detailed the transactions.
Following the arrest, Anderson says Rutledge was booked into the O’Brien County Jail where she made her initial appearance before O’Brien County Magistrate. The Magistrate set a $10,000 unsecured appearance bond and Rutledge was released from jail later that morning. Rutledge will make an appearance in O’Brien County District Court to answer to the charges. All of the charges against Rutledge are Class D felonies and each carry a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and / or a $5000 fine.
The Sheriff says a criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.