Brent Stovall, 54, is charged with 98 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts of third-degree possession of a forged instrument, and one count each of first-degree theft and first-degree financial exploitation of the elderly. Stovall is being held in the Lauderdale County Jail with bail set at $103,500.
Authorities said Stovall was renting a house from the victim in the Rogersville community, and volunteered to bring the 84-year-old neighbor his mail.
"Then the victim noticed he wasn't receiving his bank statements and contacted his bank," said Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Richard Richey. "He discovered several checks had been written and withdraws had been made without his knowledge. Then, he received statements from two credit card companies he hadn't applied with."
The theft, which included fraudulent purchases at Wal-Mart stores in Florence and Muscle Shoals, reportedly occurred for about four months, beginning in April, Richey said. It was reported to the Sheriff's Office in August.
"He was able to get all of the man's personal information from stealing the mail," Richey said.
Cases of theft involving the elderly aren't uncommon because those adults often are the most vulnerable to exploitation, said Barry Spear, spokesman for the Department of Human Resources.
DHR has an Adult Services Division that investigates crimes against the elderly alongside local law enforcement agencies as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"It's easier for somebody to take advantage of someone who isn't seen by the public a lot and spends a lot of time at home," Spear said. "We've had people who had their life savings taken from them. You have people saving and setting themselves up for their whole life financially, and then somebody comes in and takes it all from them.
"We had one case in Elmore County where one lady was exploited to the point $1 million was taken, and it's something that can't be recovered."
Richey said everyone, particularly the elderly, should always contact their bank or other financial institutions anytime they aren't getting mail they were expecting.
"Or, if you can keep a check on those things online, that's good, too," he said. "You can also do a credit report check online to see if there are any accounts in your name you don't know about."
If anyone suspects an elderly person is being exploited, it's important to report it to DHR's hotline at 1-800-458-7214 or by contacting the local office, Spear said. A report also can be filed via email.
"A lot of times, you have adults being cared for by family members or friends and they're afraid to report it because they believe they won't have anyone to help them," Spear said. "We help in those situations by involving other nonprofit organizations or groups that can help with things like getting groceries or work around the house."
Jail records list Stovall's permanent residence as Russellville in Franklin County.
If convicted, Stovall faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the two Class B felony charges: first-degree theft and exploitation. The other 100 charges are Class D felonies, punishable by one to five years on probation or community corrections.
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Alabama man jailed on 102 charges in theft of $10,000 from 84-year-old