A regular guest on Fox News stole more than $240,000 from her elderly mother and had the 88-year-old woman forced into multiple nursing homes, Florida authorities said on Friday.
Cathy Areu, a frequent liberal commentator on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight and other shows, was charged with numerous felonies by Miami-Dade County prosecutors.
The charges against Areu include kidnapping, exploitation of the elderly, and an organized scheme to defraud.
Prosecutors say Areu even physically dragged her mother out of her home when she was forcing her into one of the two nursing homes.
“Every incident of alleged elder exploitation or abuse touches our heart and never fails to shock us. It seems particularly harder to understand when the alleged perpetrator of the exploitation is a daughter, or a son or another blood relative,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.
According to Areu’s Fox News profile, she is a former contributing editor for the Washington Post Magazine, where she did political interviews from 2001 to 2012, and in 2001 founded the magazine Catalina. It sought to “break stereotypes and show a positive side of the U.S. Hispanic community.” She also hosted the “Liberal Sherpa” podcast.
In 2018, Areu was a regular on Carlson’s show and appeared on other Fox News shows. In 2020 she sued the network, Carlson, Sean Hannity, and others, claiming sexual harassment, but a judge dismissed the suit the following year.
Details of Areu’s arrest were not released, but prosecutors said she had been evading authorities since June, including spending time in Mexico. She was being held without bond Friday at the Miami-Dade County Jail. Court and jail records do not show if she has an attorney.
According to prosecutors, the investigation began in 2019 when state officials received reports that Areu was exploiting her mother. Paperwork had been filed turning over the mother’s house to Areu, but the mother denied the signature was hers.
They say Areu also used a revoked power of attorney to twice place her mother in a nursing home against her will. In the first case, they say Areu tricked her mother into believing she was being taken to have ice cream with her granddaughters, but she was taken to a nursing home instead. When the mother tried to call a friend for help, Area allegedly told the staff not to let her use the phone or see visitors.
After doctors and officials found the woman competent to make her own decisions and released her to go home, prosecutors say Areu and another person dragged her from the house and took her to another facility.
Again, the woman was released after she was found competent and asked to go home.
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Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.
Fox News regular Cathy Areu was arrested in Miami on Friday for allegedly kidnapping and financially extorting her mother.
Investigators allege she stole more than $224,000 from her elderly mother, including proceeds from her reverse mortgage, and opened credit cards in her name pic.twitter.com/mCULaY3N8O
— James Tate (@JamesTate121) December 11, 2022
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article