An Eagan woman who worked as a personal-care attendant for a vulnerable adult in Eagan has been charged with financially exploiting the woman.
Erin Elisabeth Turnmire, 21, is charged with financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Eagan police were called to a home in the 3500 block of Lexington Avenue on Oct. 5 to speak with the victim, according to the criminal complaint.
The woman told officers that she believed that Turnmire, with whom she had been friends for 11 years and who had recently become her personal care attendant, had taken advantage of her. The victim said she had loaned Turnmire $1,200 and had given her her apartment and car keys.
Turnmire worked for a home health-care company in Bloomington until October. She had worked as the victim’s personal care attendant since March.
The victim told police that she had become “frustrated” with Turnmire’s “constant complaining” about being homeless and her financial hardships, and offered to lend her $1,200 for a security deposit and rent on an apartment. She said she thought Turnmire had complained because she was aware that the victim had received a “very large inheritance” in April.
The victim eventually confided in her sister that she had written a $1,200 check payable to “cash,” then turned the money over to Turnmire.
A detective contacted the home health-care company and learned that employees are specifically told not to borrow money or anything else from clients. Employees showed the detective a PowerPoint presentation given to all employees that reviews the rights of vulnerable adults and addresses borrowing money or personal property from them.
Detectives met Oct. 31 with Turnmire, who admitted that she had borrowed money from the victim, but thought that her long-term friendship with the woman “canceled out” their working relationship, according to the complaint.
Turnmire said she was “off duty” as the victim’s personal care attendant when she discussed borrowing money from her, so she didn’t believe that she had violated state law or her employer’s policies, the complaint says.
Turnmire is scheduled to make a first appearance on the charge Jan. 28 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.