Loretta Anne Fossum, 55, is charged with theft by temporary control and financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, both felonies. If she is convicted of the maximum, she faces up to 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Dakota County District Court:
In September, Northfield Police officers received a report of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult at an assisted living facility in Northfield. Staff of the facility told police one of the residents had an individual with power of attorney who was not paying bills and completing paperwork for the resident.
Staff identified the power of attorney as Fossum, and said after contacting the banks, they had found a large number of transactions made on the resident's account while she was at the facility - since May 2015.
The unidentified victim told police she had not authorized Fossum to pay for any additional items. The victim said Fossum renovated her bathroom in her townhouse while she was in the facility due to an injury.
She said Fossum has been residing at her townhome.
After examining the bank records, officers noted approximately $2,500 in hardware store sales, $2,500 in ATM withdrawals, in addition to transactions at convenience stores, liquor stores, restaurants and cell phone payments.
Officers also found a transaction in which Fossum rented a floor sander, which was paid for using a debit card under the victim's name and had been signed by the victim.
After speaking to Fossum, she told police she had been paying the victim's bills and had access to her account. She said she had spent some of the money getting the victim's townhouse ready for her to return home.
She also admitted to using some of the victim's money to pay for expenses for her home improvement business, but claimed she was also paying it back.
Specifically, Fossum said she spent $850 on a bed, chair lift and wheel chair. But officers pointed out that an additional $1,700 was unaccounted for. Fossum said she could not remember what it was used for.
Fossum eventually admitted that approximately $1,500 was spent on projects at other people's homes, and that she had used some money for her own cell phone bill, trips to the liquor store and internet service.
She said she had been paying it back, but probably still owed the victim roughly $3,000.
Fossum, who was charged by summons, made her first appearance Monday. Her next hearing is scheduled for June 8.
Full Article & Source:
Complaint: Morristown woman charged after spending vulnerable adult's money