DEER LODGE — An Anaconda woman pleaded not guilty in Deer Lodge district court this week to felony exploitation of an elderly man.
Sherri Smith, 50, is accused of influencing an 86-year-old Deer Lodge man to extract at least $6,747 from him between July 2015 and May 2017 while presenting herself as an unofficial caregiver and friend. She allegedly worked around the house and spent time with him and tried to force out his hired caregiver but was rebuffed.
According to court records, Smith would take the man from the Senior Center to the bank to get money and then return to the center. Frontier Home Health service workers allegedly found receipts for cigarettes — the man doesn’t smoke — and for groceries not in his house.
On May 24, 2017, Smith allegedly called the man to bail her out of the Anaconda jail. Even though his eyesight is bad and he stated he should not drive, he drove to Anaconda to bail her out.
Bank representatives also reported numerous checks written on his account to various businesses until the man was allegedly unable to pay his bills, lost his phone and TV service, and was threatened with foreclosure.
Smith is free on $7,000 bond pending further court proceedings. If found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $10,000.
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Anaconda woman pleads not guilty to bilking elderly man