Saturday, March 19, 2016

Litchfield woman accused of draining $200K-plus from elderly mother's accounts enters Alford plea

Ann Marie Zillmer
LITCHFIELD — A Litchfield woman accused of financially exploiting nearly $220,000 from her elderly mother, a vulnerable adult, entered a plea agreement Wednesday in Meeker County District Court.

Ann Marie Zillmer, 56, asserted an Alford plea Wednesday. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to the crime but acknowledges there is enough evidence to lead a jury to convict. It is recorded as a guilty plea.

She was charged in September with six felony counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. As part of the plea agreement, four of those counts will be dismissed.

Zillmer also agreed to a stayed sentence, restitution and capped probation at five years.

According to the criminal complaint on the charges, authorities first became aware of potential misuse of funds when Zillmer’s mother was evicted in February 2015 from an adult care facility in Winsted.

Zillmer had pulled her mother out of the facility because her mother’s accounts were greatly depleted, with a large portion going toward the care facility and “most” of the funds for her mother’s benefit, she told authorities.

She explained the situation to a Meeker County detective: She had been told by an attorney that she could charge her mother’s account a monthly rent to compensate for the months her mother had lived at her home.

The detective and Meeker County Social Services began an investigation, serving subpoenas on the two banks holding accounts belonging to Zillmer’s mother.

A review of the accounts showed recurring transfers of thousands of dollars, over $185,000 total, into an account belonging to the Darwin bar and restaurant Zillmer owns.

In addition, $34,000 had been funneled into an account in an Illinois bank to pay a loan taken out by Zillmer and her husband.

The transfers allegedly took place from July 2011 to February 2015. Court records show a total of $219,786.84 was transferred into Zillmer’s accounts over those four years.

She told the detective in March 2015 that her bar and restaurant business was in financial trouble and that she had made numerous transfers to its account to help save it.

Zillmer was established as her mother’s attorney-in-fact in August 2007, authorizing her to carry out financial and business transactions.

However, according to the criminal complaint, the attorney provision did not authorize Zillmer to transfer her mother’s property to herself.

Zillmer is set to be sentenced May 13 in Meeker County District Court.

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Litchfield woman accused of draining $200K-plus from elderly mother's accounts enters Alford plea

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of an Alford plea. I wonder why criminals don't just use an Alford plea rather than admit guilt?