In Great Falls, Montana, the Great Falls Tribune
- When Tina Palagi was sentenced in court on charges of elder exploitation in December, she got a suspended sentence and a strong warning to stay out of trouble.(1) Now the Great Falls woman is accused of stealing from her own mother while her mother was ill, causing the elderly woman to lose her home to foreclosure just months before it should have been paid off.(2)
- According to charging documents, [a Great Falls Police] detective learned Palagi had been trusted to manage her mother's finances while her mother was seriously ill. The older woman bought her house in 1973 and should have made the last payment in 2003. Instead, she learned her home was in foreclosure when sheriff's deputies told her she was being evicted and had 30 minutes to vacate the house, according to court documents.
- The charges say Palagi took out a loan against the house in 2000 and failed to pay back the loan, causing the house to go into foreclosure. Palagi had been authorized to govern her mother's affairs, but her mother did not know about the loan, according to the charges. Palagi also is accused of stealing her mother's retirement benefits while her mother was sick.
For more, see Woman convicted of elder exploitation now charged with bilking mom.
For story update (April 3, 2009), see Parole violations land woman in state prison:
- A woman convicted of at least two financial scams and accused of many more will spend at least 10 years in Montana Women's Prison. [...] Judge Dirk Sandefur handed down the prison sentence Thursday after determining Palagi had violated the conditions of two previous suspended sentences.
Go here, here, here, here, here, and here for other posts on elder financial abuse.
(1) According to the story, Palagi was given an eight-year suspended sentence in December for borrowing $54,000 from a 78-year-old family friend and failing to repay the money. District Judge Dirk Sandefur said he only let Palagi stay out of prison so she could pay the woman back. "I want you to understand very, very clearly that this is the end of the line for you," Sandefur said at the time. Palagi also reportedly has a previous conviction for a scam involving phony money orders.
(2) Palagi, 42, made her initial appearance Monday in Cascade County District Court on the newest charge of elder exploitation. That charge comes on the heels of a host of other new charges filed last week, accusing Palagi of other counts of elder exploitation and felony theft, according to the story. DeedGammaTheft FinancialAbuseOfElderlyAlpha