ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - An Ormond Beach woman was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of stealing $4,000 from her son -- a U.S. Marine -- while he was deployed in Afghanistan.
Paula Barker, 43, was arrested on charges of fraudulent use of personal identification information.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, Chadwick Barker, who was deployed for more than six months, discovered upon his return home in September that thousands of dollars had been taken from his bank account.
Deputies said Chad Barker suspected his mother of stealing his money, and an investigation was launched.
"I was appalled, shocked and hurt pretty much," Chad Barker said in a phone interview. "I mean what kind of parent does that to their own kid."
He told a Volusia deputy that he believed his mother had obtained his account information before he had deployed and used it while he was gone.
Deputies found ten different fraudulent charges, totaling nearly $4,000.
Deputies said Paula Barker used the money to buy a $140 airplane ticket and send $700 cash to herself through Western Union.
Deputies said she denied knowing about the charges made to her son's bank account, but investigators traced the charges back to her from her use of her home address and driver's license number. She was arrested at her home.
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Paula Barker was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on $5,000 bond.
Chad Barker said he doesn't know exactly what his mother used the money for, but he said she has been unemployed for some time. He said he's not sure if he wants to forgive her.
"I really didn't bring the issue up, I didn't really speak to her," he said. "She just kind of pretended nothing happened."
He is currently training in Virginia. Chad Barker said he believes his mother went through some of his personal information to get his bank account.
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