Ellis Hanson pulled a small piece of paper out of his pocket and stared at it blankly.
Not understanding what it was, he asked his wife to look. It was a receipt for a $260 lunch at Shula’s Steak House in Naples.
Velta Hanson was surprised. Her then- 84-year-old husband, a brilliant engineer in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, had no recollection of eating there hours earlier.
That day, Sept. 30, 2008, Velta Hanson hired a private investigator. But days before receiving his report, she found a letter revealing her husband had written a $10,000 check to a friend of two decades, Alma Teti.
That was the day she asked her husband if she could take over their finances.
It turned out that was just a fraction of what Ellis Hanson had given Teti, now 69: more than $1 million in checks from 2006 to 2008, nearly $85,000 in jewelry since 2005, including a $26,000 blue stone ring for her birthday, and thousands in expensive lunches, champagne and drinks.
In 2009, the couple sued Teti, alleging exploitation of a vulnerable adult and conversion, illegally depriving the Hansons of their property.
“I’ve known Alma for over 20 years and I’m shocked at her lack of integrity by taking advantage of her friend’s trust and exploiting her friend’s husband, a vulnerable elderly gentleman who is mentally compromised,” Micheline Yuan said.
“This should be a lesson to anyone attempting to take advantage of a vulnerable adult,” she [Shirley Moore]said.
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Judge Rules Family Friend Exploited, Took $2 Million From Naples Man With Dementia