(Deming) -- A 72-year-old Columbus man was ripped off by a woman who befriended him, and that woman is now facing charges. 54-year-old Patricia Garcia of Las Cruces has been arrested on charges of fraud over 20-thousand dollars... computer access with intent to defraud... and fraudulent use of a credit card over 20-thousand dollars. Luna County Sheriff's Investigator Bobby Brookhouser said Garcia was arrested last week at the Santa Teresa school where she is employed. She is accused of taking over 80-thousand dollars from the Columbus man over an 18-month period by transferring funds from his account to hers... making Automated Teller Machine withdrawals at a casino... and using the man's debit card. Brookhouser said Garcia's arrest was the result of a three-month investigation, which began after the man's family members discovered money missing from his accounts.
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