NEW PORT RICHEY, FL - May 5, 2020 - According to an online news report posted on TampaBay.com, a man from Pasco, Florida, was arrested by Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies for stealing thousands of dollars from his disabled parents. According to the criminal news story, the suspect’s 77-year-old mother is blind, and his 69-year-old father has dementia. The arrest report alleges that the suspect did not assist his parents in paying their bills. Instead, law enforcement, state investigators, and the Florida Attorney General’s Office are alleging the suspect stole his parent’s money.
The 48-year-old suspect was arrested on May 4, 2020. The suspect is facing one count of fraudulent use of personal identification information, violation of his probation in Hillsborough County, Florida, and two counts of exploitation of the elderly. Law enforcement alleges the Pasco County man stole tens of thousands from his elderly, disabled parents.
According to the news report, which refers to the suspect’s arrest warrant from the Florida Attorney General’s Office, the suspect stole a total of $71,642.00 from his parents’ bank accounts. Also, the arrest warrant claims the suspect took out a loan in his mother’s name and without her permission. The loan was in the amount of $19,002.00. The suspect’s mother agreed to press criminal charges against her son.
The suspect was able to access his parent’s bank accounts because he had power of attorney over his father. The suspect was also supposed to be assisting his mother with her bills and finances, according to the warrant. The fraudulent transactions occurred from 2016 to 2018. The Florida Attorney General’s Office said the investigation began in January. A staff member of Orchard Ridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in New Port Richey, Florida, told the Florida Attorney General’s Office that one of their residents was being financially exploited by a relative. The nursing home staff member stated the couple´s son had ceased paying his father’s bills, and the father owed the nursing home facility over $35,000.00. Upon further investigation, law enforcement investigators discovered the suspect was not paying his mother´s nursing home bills as well.
Investigators interviewed the suspect back in November. The suspect denied exploiting his parents and that Medicaid was going to pay the nursing home bills once approved. The suspect also stated that his mother granted him permission to use his father´s bank accounts. According to banking records of the father, the suspect used his father´s money to pay his own personal needs and bills such as insurance premiums, auto loan payments, and ATM cash withdrawals.
The suspect is being held, without bail, at the Pinellas County jail.