Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Jury Returns Conviction On Charges Of Theft By Deception, Misapplication Of Entrusted Property Against Woman Who Abused POA To Swindle $120K (Including $90K Proceeds From Fraudulently Obtained Home Mortgages) From Elderly Client

In Phillipsburg, New Jersey, The Morning Call reports:
  • A Phillipsburg woman has been convicted of stealing about $120,000 from an elderly town woman whose finances she was managing.

    Frances M. Wise, 61, was acting as power of attorney for Josephine Bacskai, 87, from March 2009 to September 2013 when she depleted Bacskai's savings and took two mortgages on Bacskai's home, prosecutors said.

    A Warren County jury [] convicted Wise of theft, theft by deception and misapplication of entrusted property. Each count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

    Phillipsburg police Detective Sgt. Douglas Baylor, aided by Steve Unger of the county Office on Aging, determined that Wise drained $30,000 from Bacskai's savings account.

    Wise withdrew part of the savings by using money cards at ATM machines in the Sands Resorts Casino Bethlehem and the Mount Airy Casino in Paradise Township. Prosecutors said Bacskai never had been to either casino.

    The two mortgages against Wise's home netted Wise another $90,000, prosecutors said.

    Wise was replaced by Lisa Marinelli as power of attorney in 2013. Prosecutors said Marinelli discovered the unauthorized withdrawals when she went over the books.

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