Friday, December 02, 2016

Duping 83-Year Old Dementia-Stricken Widower Into Signing Away 6-Acre Property For $4K (Town-Assessed For $77K) Among Bad Acts Listed In Indictment Charging Caregiving Pair With Theft Charges; Victim's Relative Estimates Total Alleged Ripoff Could Exceed $200K

In Ellsworth, Maine, the Mount Desert Islander reports:
  • The two women accused of bilking an elderly Trenton man out of thousands of dollars entered not guilty pleas at their Nov. 8 arraignment in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court.

    Lisa Harriman, 54, of Mariaville and Kathleen Prunier, 58, of Trenton were indicted by a grand jury Oct. 6 following an investigation by the Maine Attorney General’s Office. Harriman was indicted on charges of theft by unauthorized taking and misuse of entrusted property. Prunier was indicted on a theft by deception charge.

    According to the indictments, Harriman committed theft by obtaining or exercising unauthorized control over cash with an aggregate value in excess of $10,000 between November 2012 and July 2015. The misuse of entrusted property charge alleges that Harriman violated her duty as a fiduciary in managing money belonging to the victim.

    Prunier, her indictment states, committed theft by deceiving the victim by creating the impression that real estate she purchased from him was valued at considerably less than the town’s assessment of the property. Prunier allegedly befriended the victim and convinced him to sell her a 6-acre property with a right-of-way to the shore for $4,000, though it is valued by the town at $77,000.

    A member of the victim’s family, Bob Byron of North Yarmouth, has said the 83-year-old Trenton resident suffers from dementia. The total loss, he estimated, could exceed $200,000.(1) Both women posted $1,000 cash bail the day of their arraignment.
Source: Not guilty pleas in elder theft case.

See also, Two charged in elder theft:
  • A relative of the victim did provide details regarding the allegations against the two women.

    Bob Byron of North Yarmouth, a former Maine State Police trooper, said his wife, Jamilyn, is the niece of the 83-year-old victim. The family has been following the case since they first reported their concerns to state police after Harriman attempted to cash in a $150,000 life insurance policy in the victim’s name to pay expenses after “she ran out of cash,” Byron said.

    Cashing in that policy prematurely resulted in the victim paying $37,000 in penalties, Byron said. That raised red flags with the family.

    What they discovered, Byron said, is that Harriman, who also is a niece of the victim, moved into the victim’s home shortly after his wife died in October 2012.

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