Social Security Thief Sentenced

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COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — A woman was taken to federal prison after cashing in social security benefits from a man who died in her care.

Carel Cody, 47, was sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison Tuesday. Over the course of 16 years Cody stole more than $200,000 in social security benefits from John Arnold.

According to court documents, Cody housed the 76 year-old man in her unlicensed adult foster care home. When he died in 1996, she didn’t report it to authorities; instead, she got help in burying him and con each time his social security benefits were deposited into his bank account. Cody forged his name on checks payable to herself.

Residents at Grandma’s House, an adult foster care facility also in Cottage Grove, says what Cody did was unthinkable.

“I feel that that’s probably the most horrific thing you could ever do to anyone to anyone’s family. How can you do that? How can you live with yourself knowing that these people died?” said Doni Shanklin, Adult Foster Care resident.

Shanklin says it’s smart to have family members handle finances rather than caregivers.

The owner of grandma’s House mentioned that this incident is rare. She says most everyone who’s in the adult foster care business is in it for the right reasons.

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