Convictions against a Rustburg woman for committing embezzlement and credit card fraud against an older woman she was taking care of were upheld by an appeals court this week.
Brandi Starr Floyd, 35, was found guilty in Lynchburg Circuit Court of 11 charges in November 2019 and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison last year, along with $90,000 in restitution payments to the victim. Floyd was allowed to stay out of jail on recognizance while she sent her case to the Virginia Court of Appeals.
At trial, the prosecution presented evidence Floyd embezzled from the woman between 2015 and 2018 by using her credit cards for personal purchases. Between different court hearings and news releases, prosecutors have said Floyd caused the victim losses of anywhere from $77,000 to $174,000.
Floyd helped the woman out once or twice per week and was given her credit card to purchase groceries, according to testimony from the victim, who has a disease that causes her physical and cognitive impairments.
In her appeal, Floyd held the prosecution failed to show she didn’t have permission to use the victim’s credit cards and insisted the victim’s lack of alert calls to any financial institutions meant she was giving Floyd permission to use them for personal purchases, according to the appellate decision.
The appellate court pointed out in its opinion the victim “consistently denied ever giving Floyd permission to use the credit cards for her own personal purchases” and the court was reasonable in finding she didn’t consent to those purchases.
In her defense, Floyd presented a handwritten note she claimed was written by the victim, which stated Floyd had paid off loans by working without compensation for three years.
The appellate court stated the conclusion Floyd deceived the victim “is clearly supported by the record,” pointing out the victim didn’t remember making any loans or writing such a note.