Friday, March 25, 2016

'Caregiving' Son Faces 4 To 15 Years On Charges That He Allegedly Neglected Elderly Father & Burned Through $138K Of His Money, Causing Victimized Dad To Get The Boot From Nursing Home; Suspect Allegedly Told Cops That He Has Never Been Good w/ Money, Putting Him In Charge Of Dad's Cash “Was Like Putting A Kid In A Candy Store”

In DeKalb County, Illinois, the Daily Chronicle reports:
  • A Sycamore man accused of neglecting his elderly father and using money intended to pay for nursing-home care to buy a time-share in Mexico was released [] from the DeKalb County Jail.

    Police said Bruce E. Zekoff, 55, [...], Sycamore, caused his deceased father, 81-year-old Wilbur Zekoff, to be evicted from the DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center, then used his father’s bank account to buy a camper and a time-share in Mexico, court records show.

    Zekoff is charged with financial exploitation of the elderly and theft of more than $100,000, both of which are punishable by from four to 15 years in prison. He was released from jail after posting $1,000 bail [].

    Bruce Zekoff was a signatory on his father’s checking account to pay the bills, and was legally responsible for his father’s health care treatment.

    The father was sent to live with his son after being evicted from the nursing home in May for not making payments. Soon after, Elder Care Services found Bruce Zekoff had neglected his father by leaving him alone knowing he couldn’t care for himself, and never filled out the public aid forms that would have allowed his father to remain at the nursing home, court records show.

    Wilbur Zekoff died in July under the legal guardianship of his niece and nephew.

    Two years into his father’s stay at the nursing home, Bruce Zekoff said his father’s account had run out of money and he could not longer afford to pay the bills and rehab center fees, records show.

    Although Bruce Zekoff had paid the nursing home about $82,000 for his father’s care, he used more than $138,000 for himself, records show.

    Prosecutors allege that more than $57,000 alone was put toward Bruce Zekoff’s personal bills and the purchase of a new camper and a time-share property in Mexico.

    He told police he couldn’t remember how he spent the $82,000 he paid himself using his father’s checks, court records show.

    During an interview with DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies, Zekoff said he has never been good with money, and that putting him in charge of his father’s funds “was like putting a kid in a candy store,” court records show.

    A future court date has not yet been scheduled.

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