Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Prosecutor: Man Used Forged POA To Gain Control Of Dementia-Stricken Dad's Real Estate, Then Fleece Thousands In Monthly Royalties Collected From Leased Sand Mine, Rents From Apartments, Allowing Rental Units To Be Foreclosed

In Ellsworth, Wisconsin, the Pierce County Herald reports:
  • An Ellsworth man stole thousands of dollars in sand mine royalties from his father, according to charges filed last month in Pierce County Circuit Court.

    Richard L. Anderson was charged by summons Feb. 28 with felony theft from a vulnerable adult and receiving more than $10,000 in stolen property. His initial court appearance is set for April 10.

    According to a criminal complaint:

    A joint investigation between the Pierce County Sheriff's Office and the county's human services department was launched in 2014 after human services officials were alerted by a guardianship organization.

    Anderson and his father, Lloyd Anderson, had accumulated real estate, including 270 acres they leased to Wisconsin Specialty Sand, which agreed to pay them, Richard and Lloyd, along with Lloyd's wife Nellie and other son Gregory Anderson, royalties for at least five years beginning in 2006. The agreement called for the family to divide an average annual payment of $40,000 four ways.

    Richard encouraged his father to invest his savings in rental properties in Pierce and St. Croix counties — an arrangement that called for Lloyd to perform maintenance work while Richard handled legal and financial responsibilities.

    Richard, along with Mississippi Valley Guardians, was appointed co-guardian of Nellie's estate in 2010.

    In 2012, Lloyd was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and showed attorney Lars Loberg an estate plan. Loberg requested Lloyd complete a competency evaluation, though he didn't do that.

    Later that year, Richard drew up documents through LegalZoom to have himself appointed as his father's power of attorney.

    "Richard Anderson admitted that he had done this without the assistance of the Loberg Law Office after the Loberg Law Office had asked for a competency evaluation because Richard Anderson knew that if his father Lloyd Anderson failed a competency examination he would not have been able to sign a power of attorney," the complaint states.

    Richard also admitted to preparing a new will for his father.

    Over the course of about a year between 2012 and 2013, $9,854 in deposits were made from Lloyd's account to Richard's bank accounts.

    During the two-year period ending in 2014 when Richard took over Lloyd's estate, which included about $3,500 per month in sand mine royalties, there were numerous deposits into Richard's account that appeared to be rent checks.

    "Nothing in Lloyd Anderson's bank records indicates that he or Nellie Anderson received those royalty checks, and it appears that these royalty checks for the sand mine and the rent checks for Lloyd Anderson's rental properties were all directly received by Richard Anderson," according to the complaint, which goes on to note that most, if not all, of the rental units were foreclosed on.

    The guardianship organization requested Richard be removed from his mother's co-guardianship "due to his uncooperativeness in the administration of his mother's estate and to his receiving directly, without paying to his siblings or parents ... the royalty monies from the sand mine or the rental payments for his parents' farmland," the complaint states.

    Richard's power of attorney over his parents was terminated July 1, 2014. Lloyd died less than a year later.

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