Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Couple Steals Over $1M From Elderly Man With Dementia

SILVER SPRING, MD — A Silver Spring couple was convicted Monday of scamming an elderly man with dementia of over $1 million, according to court documents.

Javier and Ana "Beti" Molina were found guilty of conspiracy and exploitation of a vulnerable adult for stealing $1.2 million from Gustave Shapiro, 99, of Aspen Hill. They gambled $200,000 of Shapiro's money and sent their daughter to college, prosecutors said.

"It's elder abuse, and it's theft. This is a theft by deception, theft by defrauding and theft by coercion," Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office, said.

Prosecutors said Beti became Shapiro's housekeeper when he was 95. She was hired shortly after Shapiro's wife of over 70 years passed away and worked for him for about three years.

Beti became Shapiro's caretaker and convinced him to sign over power of attorney to her and her husband, prosecutors said. From 2013 to 2016, the couple swindled money from Shapiro to buy a car, gamble, put down a payment on a house and pay for their daughter's college tuition.

Shapiro withdrew only $14,000 from his bank accounts in 2012, while $543,000, $37,200 and $231,000 were taken out over the following years. Bank employees noticed the suspicious transactions from Shapiro's account and tipped off authorities, prosecutors said. The fraud was not discovered until after Shapiro died at age 99.

"This is important and serves as a cautionary tale for anyone that has parents or grandparents that may need assisted-living or home health care workers or even cleaning crews coming into their home," Korionoff said. "Be careful whom you trust."

The Molinas both face up to 55 years in prison and will be sentenced in January, prosecutors said.

Full Article & Source:
Couple Steals Over $1M From Elderly Man With Dementia

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