After 6 long years, woman accused of stealing $79K from elderly Stephenville woman goes on trial.
After six long years, Andrea Holt is finally facing the accusation that she stole $79,000 from an elderly Stephenville woman while working as her caregiver.
Her trial began Tuesday in the 266th Judicial District Court.
In opening remarks, Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash told jurors that the Riggs family hired Holt in 2017 to provide round-the-clock care for Jean Riggs.
Jean Riggs and her husband J.C. owned and operated Riggs Machine & Welding in Stephenville.
Nash told jurors that Holt stole $79,000 from Mrs. Riggs by forging checks to herself from various bank accounts between July and October 2017.
“She was 87 years old at the time that all of this happened,” Nash said.
The scheme was discovered by officials with Citizens National Bank who called Mrs. Riggs after finding irregularities in her checking account, triggering an investigation.
A DEVASTATING DISCOVERY
Jean Riggs’ daughter, Judy Riggs-Burris, testified that her mother was “devastated” when she learned that Holt had stolen money.
“She had grown to be close to Andrea and cared about her as a person,” Riggs-Burris said.
Officer Robert Moore with the Stephenville Police Department testified that Holt wrote 44 fraudulent checks totaling $79,200 over a 2 ½ month period.
Three of those checks were written from an account at Citizens National Bank, 21 from First Financial Bank and 20 from TexasBank.
Mrs. Riggs passed away in July 2022.
JURORS HEAR FROM MRS. RIGGS
Prior to her passing, Mrs. Riggs was interviewed by Nash and Holt’s attorney Angie Hadley in a recorded deposition.
Nash played that three-hour deposition for jurors where Mrs. Riggs said that crippling arthritis in her hands made writing difficult.
When Mrs. Riggs could no longer write checks for her bills, Holt began to help.
“She wrote the checks out and I signed them,” Mrs. Riggs said.
Mrs. Riggs testified that she paid her caretakers $320 for a 48-period and that she never gave them or their families monetary gifts.
Mrs. Riggs said she became concerned that Holt was spending more money than she was making when she learned that Holt had purchased $400 tickets to see the Dallas Cowboys and season tickets to Six Flags Over Texas.
After she was informed by the bank that Holt had written fraudulent checks, Mrs. Riggs said she called to confront her.
She said Holt began to cry and asked how she could repay her.
Testimony is expected to resume on Wednesday.