Former Fox News contributor Catherine Areu Jones was arrested on several charges, including the kidnapping of her elderly mother and theft of $224,000 from the 88-year-old, The Blaze reported. Jones, who was once a regular on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," was known to viewers as the "Liberal Sherpa" and offered a counter opinion to the host.
The details of the alleged crimes paint a picture of a money-hungry daughter and her repeated attempts to swindle her own mother. The 51-year-old reportedly first caught the attention of authorities in 2019.
The Department of Children and Families was contacted on suspicions that Jones committed elder abuse. On two occasions, Jones had her mother, who is unnamed in the reports, committed to assisted living facilities against her will using a revoked power of attorney.
Authorities believe she did this to drain her mother's financial assets and accounts. The first time, Jones used an "ice cream outing" with her grandchildren to get her mother to come with her, only to have her mother committed to an assisted living facility.
Jones told staff that her mother had dementia despite the woman being of sound mind. After her mother reached out to another loved one from inside the facility, Jones retaliated by ordering staff to take away her phone and prohibit all visitors.
The DCF and the facility's medical staff finally determined the elderly woman did not have dementia and released her. Undeterred, Jones allegedly made a second attempt.
This time, she enlisted an accomplice to physically remove her mother from her home and have her committed to a different assisted living facility. A neighbor called the police after discovering the elderly woman's front door was left open and one of her shoes was left in the driveway.
The crimes Jones is now accused of in relation to those events are extensive. Jones allegedly used credit cards she opened in her mother's name and likely made a number of withdrawals from her mother's bank account that appear to be linked to Jones.
Jones also allegedly forged a quitclaim deed in order to gain possession of her mother's house. The elderly woman denied ever signing such a document.
Funds from a reverse mortgage, which her mother did sign off on, also went into accounts Jones had access to. Investigators estimate that Jones took some $224,000 from her own mother through these schemes.
"Every incident of alleged elder exploitation or abuse touches our heart and never fails to shock us," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement, according to ABC News. "It seems particularly harder to understand when the alleged perpetrator of the exploitation is a daughter, or a son, or another blood relative," Rundle added.
Although authorities had been looking to collar Jones since June, she'd fled to avoid capture, even turning up in Mexico. On Friday, Jones was finally caught and booked on felonies, including exploitation of the elderly, fraudulent use of personal identification, organized scheme to defraud, conspiracy to commit organized scheme to defraud, kidnapping, and false imprisonment.
She is currently being held without bond awaiting trial. Once a contributor on the "Tucker Carlson Tonight" show using the name "Cathy Areu," Jones eventually fell out of favor at the network. She resurfaced in 2020 only to accuse network hosts like Sean Hannity and Carlson of sexual harassment, though those charges were later dismissed.
If these crimes are true, Jones is clearly a disturbed and morally bankrupt individual. Instead of the fame and fortune she was after, Jones is on track to only be infamous and penniless.