Welcome to The Home Equity Theft Reporter, a blog dedicated to informing the consumer public and the legal profession about Home Equity Theft issues. This blog will consist of information describing the various forms of Home Equity Theft and links to news reports & other informational sources from throughout the country about the victims of Home Equity Theft and what government authorities and others are doing about it.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Frail, Elderly Montana Man Accuses POA-Holding Stepdaughter Of Selling His Home Out From Under Him, Draining His Bank & Credit Card Accounts While He Was Hospitalized In Critical Condition, Assuring Him Medicaid Would Pick Up Tab For His Care; Charges Of Exploitation, Forgery, Deceptive Practices Pending
In Laurel, Montana, KTVQ-TV Channel 2 reports:
A Laurel woman is accused of charging more than $70,000 to her 70-year-old stepfather’s credit cards and selling his house while he was hospitalized.
Terry Stokes, 33, was set to appear  in Yellowstone County Justice Court on six felony charges. Stokes is charged with exploitation of a person with a developmental disability, forgery, and four counts of deceptive practices.
According to court documents, Stokes was designated the victim’s power of attorney in 2011 when the man was admitted to the hospital.
For the next four years, Stokes allegedly drained the victim’s bank account of more than $3,000 and ran up charges on four of her stepfather’s credit cards. The charges totaled nearly $72,000 in fraudulent transactions.
Investigators determined that the victim had transferred the deed to his Laurel home to Stokes.
The victim said Stokes had pressured him into signing his home over to her and assured him Medicaid would pay for his care.
Stokes allegedly also took possession of several of the victim’s belongings, including family heirlooms, numerous guns, an RV, tools, furniture, and ashes of his son.
Detectives also learned that Stokes has taken several of the victim’s vehicles, according to court documents.
The victim told authorities that he had given his wallet to Stokes for safe keeping when he was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. The man said he never gave Stokes permission to use his credit cards.
Detectives made several attempts to speak with Stokes, but she was never available.
Stokes is being held at the Yellowstone County jail.
CBC News: Betrayal of Trust (A CBC investigation reveals how lawyers across Canada have misappropriated and mishandled clients money, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, or sometimes even charging vulnerable people top dollar for shoddy services)
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