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March 20, 13

NEWS / WA woman charged with using power of attorney to steal over $400,000 from senile uncle

A woman from the state of Washington has been charged with stealing over $400,000 from her 96-year old uncle while he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Betsy Cammon now faces 34 counts of theft, with the possibility of additional charges, and is held on a bail of $25,000.

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office says Cammon was given power of attorney over her uncle back in 1998, but that was not to come into effect until the uncle would be unable to deal with his financial affairs. In 2007, Cammon was added to her uncle’s bank accounts, KOMO news reports.

After her uncle got admitted to a nursing in 2009, and a doctor concluded that he was no longer able to manage his own affairs, Cammon’s power of attorney was activated. Prosecutors say that by that time, Cammon had already withdrawn nearly $200,000 from her uncle’s bank account.

The power of attorney purportedly gave Cammon a blank check to spend her uncle’s entire savings for her own benefit. In 2010, she failed to pay for her uncle’s nursing home and Rainier Guardianship Services took over his guardianship. The company was forced to liquidate his assets in order to pay for his living expenses, as his bank accounts were almost completely depleted, according to the prosecutors.

Cammon’s uncle died four months later and his nephew was appointed as his personal representative. The nephew uncovered numerous discrepancies in his uncle’s accounts, but Cammon told him that she would produce factual evidence for the missing funds. She later told him that she was forced to extort the money for another person who she claimed was threatening her.

A family member reported the situation to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office in April 2012. The prosecutors conducted an investigation and found that Cammon managed to withdraw a total of $423,120.75 from her uncle’s accounts and gifted another 49,450 to her friends.

Prosecutors say some of that money was used by Cammon to pay property taxes on two houses owned by her and her boyfriend.

“Our Elder Fraud team vigorously prosecutes cases of elder fraud and theft,” Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist stated in a press release. “We encourage family and friends of elder victims to come forward and report these crimes against some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Tags: power of attorney ,


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