Thursday, April 9, 2015

Woman charged with exploiting grandparents in nursing home

NEOSHO, Mo. — A Granby woman was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on charges that she drained more than $47,000 from the bank accounts of her grandparents while they were in a nursing home.

At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Newton County Circuit Court, Associate Circuit Judge Gregory Stremel found probable cause for Angela B. Powell to stand trial on felony counts of misappropriating funds of nursing home residents and financial exploitation of an elderly person.

According to testimony at the hearing, Hershel and Ollie Tanner named Powell, 43, as guardian and conservator of their two checking accounts at Community Bank and Trust after they entered the Granby House nursing home in 2012. Ollie Tanner died in March 2013, and her husband died a year later while still a resident of the home.

David Reed Jr., an employee of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, testified that the state received a report while Hershel Tanner was still alive that his bills at the home were not being paid. Reed told the court that he began looking into the matter and learned from Hershel Tanner that Powell had been acting as his conservator. Further investigation showed that Powell was being sued by Clark Funeral Home for not paying Ollie Tanner's funeral expenses, he said.

Reed said he spoke with Powell and obtained financial releases from her to examine the records of the two bank accounts and an investment account. He testified that he found numerous questionable transactions on the bank accounts, with checks being written to cable television and telephone companies, to retailers and to Powell and members of her family for cash.

Reed said the questionable transactions totaled more than $47,000.

Powell's attorney, William Fleischaker, cross-examined Reed about his awareness of litigation concerning the Tanners' estates that was pending in probate court and how the bank transactions he cited might be viewed in the context of that litigation. He also asked if the Department of Health and Senior Services was aware that the Tanners owned a residence that Powell, as their conservator, was responsible for maintaining.

Reed acknowledged that the probate matter was beyond the scope of his investigation. But the transactions on the bank accounts did not appear to be in the interests of the Tanners, he said.
"I do not believe she spent (the money) maintaining the estate," Reed said.

Misty Shepherd, director of the Granby House, testified that the couple's nursing home bills were regularly paid until Ollie died. The granddaughter fell behind on payments at that time but caught back up in September 2013, Shepherd said. When she again fell behind, a collection letter was sent to her in December 2013. But no payments have been made since Hershel's death in March 2014 and the nursing home is still owed $25,674.32, Shepherd said.

Assistant Prosecutor Joe Schoeberl asked Shepherd about the couple's possessions at the nursing home.

"Did you ever see Ms. Powell provide anything to the Tanners?" he asked.

"No, sir," the administrator said.

Court date
The judge set the defendant's initial appearance in a trial division of the court for April 20.

Full Article & Source: 
Woman charged with exploiting grandparents in nursing home

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Misappropriating funds? Sounds like pure theft to me.