Cumberland County group home owner accused of defrauding residents

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NC (WTVD) -- The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office has arrested a group home owner on suspicion of fraud.

Marquita Simpson claimed to operate some sort of transitional housing for elderly, mentally disabled and the homeless, but authorities said whatever it is, it's suspicious.

"I don't think if you make somebody give you their credit card that's legal. If you won't allow them to answer the door for you give them an allowance of $20 that's not legal," said Sgt. Patrice Bogherty.

Simpson has been charged with felony fraud, identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. Detectives said when she would get a new resident or patient she would trick them into handing over what little money they had whether it was on their EBT, social security benefit card and or debit card.

"We had a victim come forward and tell us that she had used her card, taken advantage of her," said Sgt. Bogherty.

Detectives said Simpson even went as far as changing the line number on that card. Warrants also stated that she stole $503 in cash from the victim.

Simpson told detectives she ran two homes in Hope Mills; one off of Hanover Drive and the other on Winesap Road.

ABC11 attempted to speak with Simpson, however, a woman said we had the wrong address despite deputies confirming that address as the suspected home. Right now deputies said it's unclear if, or how many people are still living at that address.

"It's very sad situation she's preying on the homeless because they have nowhere to go and once you get that money from the government she's taking advantage of them spending their money and now they have no place to go they can't get their card back," said Bogherty.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said it believes there are more victims who have been defrauded by Simpson.

If you have any information please contact CRIMESTOPPERS at 910-483-TIPS.