Saturday, November 16, 2019

Lincoln-Lemington woman charged with stealing $100K from father with dementia

Tonya Reid
by  Jonathan D. Silver

A Lincoln-Lemington woman raided her incapacitated father’s checking account, stealing more than $100,000 from his Social Security payments, pension and annuities, authorities said.

Tonya Reid, 51, was charged Wednesday with two felony counts of theft, receiving stolen property, access device fraud and misapplication of entrusted property.

She was arrested Thursday by detectives with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

In 2016, Ms. Reid was designated as the legal guardian for her father, Walter Daniels, 71, who has dementia, a criminal complaint said.

But instead of using Mr. Daniels’ money to pay for his room and board at LGAR Health & Rehabilitation Center in Turtle Creek, where he moved in July 2017, Ms. Reid spent $106,543.34 on herself, investigators said.

“Once Mr. Daniels was transferred to LGAR, Ms. Reid stopped paying her father’s bills at his new facility,” the complaint said. “LGAR did not receive any money from Ms. Reid [on] behalf of her father.”

Detectives alleged that the money went to pay for Ms. Reid’s vehicle, bank fees, beauty supplies, cell phones, travel, liquor and tuition at the University of Pittsburgh, among other personal expenses.

Investigators said that Mr. Daniels, because of his dementia, had no need for any such items or services.

Mr. Daniels had two guardianship accounts; both were closed with zero balances. Ms. Reid’s signature, the complaint said, was the only one on the bank signature cards.

Authorities were alerted to problems by a complaint in June 2018 from an employee from Allegheny County’s Area Agency on Aging.

Ms. Reid was appointed by the court in July 2016 to be her father’s guardian, responsible for paying his bills. But she was removed by Orphans’ Court in March 2018 and replaced by Ursuline Senior Services, which discovered that Mr. Daniels’ guardianship account had been depleted, the complaint said.

It wasn’t until this past June that Ms. Reid’s attorney, identified in the complaint as Jonathan Orie, filed an accounting of the guardianship account with the court.

Investigators found that while Ms. Reid was her father’s guardian, there were $133,776.76 in deposits, but withdrawals of $138,486.42, leaving the account with a negative balance of $4,700. That included nearly $32,000 that paid for Mr. Daniels’ accommodations at a different senior center before he was moved to LGAR. The rest of the money, authorities said, went to Ms. Reid.

Mr. Orie could not be reached for comment.

Full Article & Source:
Lincoln-Lemington woman charged with stealing $100K from father with dementia

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