A Hernando woman entrusted with managing the finances of an elderly man was arrested last week on allegations that she used the money for herself instead.
Investigators say the 55-year-old woman obtained power of attorney in the summer of 2016 for a man they describe as being of advanced age and mentally unable to manage his affairs. Though they declined to describe the alleged victim and his prior relationship to her in any further detail, they were forthcoming with details of the alleged crime, saying she stole over one million dollars from him over the course of the intervening years.
Per police, the defendant wrote almost four dozen checks to herself from the man’s several online stock trading account. She also allegedly helped herself to funds available via a credit card account and a pair of checking accounts.
The defendant allegedly spent the money on a wide variety of purchases, the largest of which was a 20-acre parcel of land in the remote eastern reaches of Hernando County which land records indicate she took title to in 2017.
The defendant gave up her power of attorney a year ago for unspecified reasons, but not before allegedly taking $1,032,321 from the victim’s stock trading accounts, almost $10,000 from his credit card, and over $81,000 from his checking accounts. They say he now owes over $60,000 in taxes due to stock trades, and two of his rental properties are currently in foreclosure. He now resides in an assisted-living facility, with several of his possessions having been sold to pay outstanding debts.
The defendant was arrested on May 4 and booked into the Hernando County Jail on charges of exploiting an elderly person for over $50,000 and theft from an elderly person of over $50,000. She was released that evening after posting a bond of $20,000.