Columbia woman arrested for financial exploitation

Friday, April 15, 2011 | 5:58 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Police arrested a Columbia woman Thursday in connection with financial exploitation, according to a Columbia Police Department news release.

Deanna Harris was arrested on suspicion of financial exploitation of the elderly/disabled, which is a Class B felony.

After Harris asked a woman for change to buy a soda for a friend, she said the soda made her friend sick, the release stated. She then threatened the woman and said she needed to pay the friend’s medical bills.

In January, caseworkers at the New Horizon’s Community Support Center noticed a change in the woman’s financial situation and contacted the police. After obtaining a subpoena, police found that the woman had written more than $7,000 in personal checks, and she said she had cashed more than $12,000 in certificates of deposit, the news release stated.

Harris told detectives she knew the victim from work, but she claimed to have been selling her “skin-care products” and she had only received about $2,000 from the victim, the release stated.

A bond amount will be set by the judge, the release stated.

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