Hospital Employee Allegedly Stole The American Express Card Of A Dying Coronavirus Patient


Friday, May 8th 2020, 8:48 pm
By: CBS News


An employee at a New York City hospital was taken into custody and charged on Thursday for stealing the credit card of a COVID-19 patient in April. The patient at Staten Island University Hospital has since died from the disease, his daughter, Tara Catapano wrote on Facebook. 

"This has been a very devastating time to say the least but recent events have made it even worse, if that's even possible," Catapano wrote in a post on April 27. In an interview with SI Live, a local Staten Island outlet, Catapano identified her father as 70-year-old Anthony Catapano. 

In her lengthy Facebook post, she said that her father died on April 12 and she was only informed of his death when she called the doctor nine hours later.

Catapano said she understands the hospital was overwhelmed, but she thinks it is unacceptable that the information was kept from her for so long. "On top of this when I tried to get his belongings from the hospital they were nowhere to be found for a day and a half then they miraculously were found when a lawyer called on my fathers behalf," she wrote. 

Catapano wrote that when she retrieved the items, several of her father's belongs were still missing, including a cell phone, glasses, and money. "The hospital 'investigated' unsuccessfully and the case was closed and I still don't have my dads things," she wrote. "Today I get his Amex bill in the mail and there are 2 charges for gas and groceries while he was in the hospital and fighting for his life."

The daughter assumed that a hospital employee stole her father's American Express card because no other visitors were allowed in his room due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"As family members we aren't allowed to be with our family members and advocate for them or see what is going on and these poor people are being taken advantage of," she wrote. "I'm sure my dad is not the first person this happened to and I'm sure he won't be the last." Capatano called the behavior "disgusting and unacceptable."

Catapano wrote that when she retrieved the items, several of her father's belongs were still missing, including a cell phone, glasses, and money. "The hospital 'investigated' unsuccessfully and the case was closed and I still don't have my dads things," she wrote. "Today I get his Amex bill in the mail and there are 2 charges for gas and groceries while he was in the hospital and fighting for his life."

The daughter assumed that a hospital employee stole her father's American Express card because no other visitors were allowed in his room due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"As family members we aren't allowed to be with our family members and advocate for them or see what is going on and these poor people are being taken advantage of," she wrote. "I'm sure my dad is not the first person this happened to and I'm sure he won't be the last." Capatano called the behavior "disgusting and unacceptable."

Capatano was ultimately able to file a report – which resulted in the arrest of Danielle Conti of Old Bridge, NJ.

In a statement to CBS News, the NYPD said on April 28, a female discovered fraudulent credit card charges against her recently deceased father and contacted police. "Subsequent investigation determined that a 43-year old female was determined to have used the victim's credit card at an undetermined location and time and was taken in to custody and charged on Thursday, May 7, 2020," the NYPD statement said.

Conti was charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to CBS News.

According to a statement from SIUH sent to CBS News, Conti has been temporarily suspended and faces termination in response to the felony charges. "We are working closely with the law enforcement authorities and the hospital is conducting its own investigation. Ms. Conti has been an employee since 2007," the statement continues. 

CBS News has reached out to Tara Catapano and is awaiting response. 

First published on May 8, 2020 / 10:47 AM

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