A 35-year-old bank employee in Florida was recently arrested in Lee County near Fort Myers. The man faces multiple felony charges for alleged white-collar crimes. The arrest followed an investigation into the disappearance of almost $900,000 from the accounts of an elderly couple in Highlands Beach.
According to court documents, the bank employee allegedly befriended the couple while he worked at the bank where they had accounts. The arrest report indicates that the husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease when the defendant became the couple’s sole beneficiary and also their power of attorney. Due to the elderly man’s medical condition, he was no longer able to drive, identify relatives or remember his address.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office alleges that the defendant started removing significant amounts from the couple’s accounts, beginning in March 2015 and growing to almost $900,000 by March 2018. Both the husband and wife have since died, and although the husband seemed to have died a natural death in 2017 when he was 87 years old, his wife was murdered in her home earlier this year. That investigation is ongoing.
Prosecutors say the man gained the trust of the elderly couple, and, while managing their finances, helped himself to funds that he used for buying a car, purchasing guns, paying for cruises with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and settling credit card debts. Anyone in Florida who is in a similar position of facing multiple felony charges for white-collar crimes, including money laundering, grand theft and exploitation of the elderly, will likely seek the services of an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. The advocacy of a lawyer throughout ensuing legal procedures can be critical to the outcome of the case.