Staten Island hospital nurse accused of stealing, using credit card from her dying Covid-19 patient


Danielle Conti, 43, is charged with grand violence, petty theft and criminal possession of stolen property after calling on charges on two of Anthony Catapano's credit cards while hospitalized at Staten Island University Hospital with coronavirus, according to New York police.

Catapano, 70, was hospitalized April 4 after falling ill with coronavirus, his daughter, Tara Catapano, told CNN. He was clear-sighted when the alleged theft happened and died later April 12 from complications of the virus.

"I was in shock and disbelief," said Tara Catapano. "Of course I knew there had to be an employee at the hospital because visitors were not allowed."

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Tara Catapano, who had paid her father's bills since her mother passed away in 2014, said she normally does not closely monitor her father's expenses.

After he died and she received a gasoline credit card statement – which she said her father always paid for in cash – she saw when the indictment date happened April 9, when her father was "in the hospital and literally fighting for his life."

Tara Catapano said police showed her surveillance footage from a ShopRite of what appeared to be Conti paying for groceries using her father's card.

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"They take an oath to protect, not to hurt," Tara Catapano said.

Other assets not listed include his father's glasses, cellphone, wallet cash, phone chargers and photos. It is not clear what happened to these assets, and they may not have been stolen intentionally.

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In a statement provided to CNN, Christian Preston, director of community affairs for Staten Island University Hospital, Conti, who has worked at the hospital since 2007, "has been temporarily suspended and faces closure in response to the charges of felony." He also said the hospital "works closely with law enforcement agencies and the hospital is conducting its own investigation."

The effort to reach Conti was not successful. It was not immediately clear if she has a lawyer.

A NYPD spokesman told CNN that Conti was issued a desk sign, or an order to appear in the Staten Island criminal court, sometime in September.

Tara Catapano told CNN that she just wants to know why Conti did what she allegedly did.

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"I want to know why she exploited my father while he was lying on his deathbed," she said. "And I would like to know how she would feel if someone did it to a loved one of her – whether it was a parent or grandparent. I don't think when people do these things they think of it that way.

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"But he's my dad, he's a person," Tara Catapano said. "I'm disgusted [Conti was] meant to take care of him and instead … stole from him. "

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