|Paul Juarez, 72, of Harvey, was found guilty of exploitation of a person with infirmities on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.|
It took a Jefferson Parish jury less than an hour to convict a man accused of taking advantage of an elderly Terrytown woman with Alzheimer’s disease and helping himself to more than $800,000 of her money, according to the Jefferson Parish district attorney’s office.
Paul Juarez, 72, of Harvey, was found guilty of exploitation of a person with infirmities Wednesday evening (May 1), the district attorney’s office said.
Juarez faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Juarez met the victim, a woman who died at 85 in 2014, at the West Bank church they both attended, according to the district attorney’s office. The woman was a retired nurse from North Carolina who was divorced and had no children.
Juarez assumed power of attorney for the woman in 2010 after she was deemed unable to make decisions for herself, the district attorney’s office said.
Juarez transferred more than $300,000 from the woman’s account into his own in 2010 and made himself and his wife the exclusive beneficiaries of her insurance policy, according to prosecutors. He was also accused of using some of the woman’s money to pay a tax bill in a Florida county where his wife owned a business.
The woman’s closest relative was a niece who lives in North Carolina. But Juarez barred the niece from visiting the woman, according to prosecutors.
The woman’s niece, who was named in the will, reached out to an attorney in October 2014. Her attorney contacted the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, prompting an investigation.
Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Juarez at his Harvey home in January 2017, booking him with exploitation of the infirmed and the illegal transfer of monetary funds, court records said.
During the trial, Juarez’s attorney denied exploiting the woman, explaining that he was merely carrying out her wishes in accordance with an arrangement made between the two, the district attorney’s office said. The woman wasn’t close to her niece and did not want to go back to North Carolina.
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Man who took $800K from elderly Terrytown woman guilty of exploitation