By Brandon Downs
PLACER COUNTY - A Placer County woman was convicted of four felonies, including stealing more than $500,000 from her mother's bank account, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Wednesday.
After a four-week trial, Betty Ann Engelbrecht was convicted of two counts of grand theft from an elder and two counts of grand theft.
Bonta said between 2013 and 2017, Engelbrecht was acting as her mother's power of attorney to manage her mother's finances following a neurodegenerative disease diagnosis.
Engelbrecht transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from her mother's bank account to her own, Bonta said. She then spent the majority of the money and left her mother no funds for her care and treatment.
A sentencing for Engelbrecht has not been set yet.
Bonta said millions of Americans are victims of some sort of financial exploitation. He said nearly $3 million is lost every year due to elder fraud and scams, and financial exploitation and fraud are the most prevalent forms of elder abuse.
"All too often, our elder
citizens are made victims of abuse and fraud by those they should be
able to trust the most — their own family," Bonta said.