Port Charlotte couple accused of exploiting elderly man

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Joaquin and Rozana Venegas (Credit: CCSO booking photos)

A Port Charlotte couple is accused of exploiting an 80-year-old North Port man they were caring for.

The North Port Police Department was contacted by the victim’s family, who grew suspicious of Rozana and Joaquin Venegas after Rozana Venegas took the victim to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and allegedly told hospital staff that the victim had no other family and she was his only caregiver.

The victim hired the Venegas to help him with food preparation, drive him to medical appointments and perform other basic tasks for a fee of $240 a week.

Investigators said the Venegas repeatedly wrote checks on the victim’s bank account and signed by the victim to pay for home upgrades and hearing aids that were never purchased. The couple also completed power of attorney with a Port Charlotte law firm and on that same day, moved $250,000 from the victim’s account into their own. That transaction was reversed after the victim’s family member contacted the bank and the lawyer who granted power of attorney.

Both admitted to the crimes and have been charged with felony exploitation of the elderly for over $100,000 and could face more charges.

Charlotte County Jail records show they were released on $50,000 bond each.

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