Woman arrested for stealing money from senior citizen
A Leland woman was arrested for embezzling over $1000 from an elderly man she was taking care of.
According to the Leelanau County Sheriff, Carolyn A. Flees, 57, was charged with embezzlement from a vulnerable adult. The charge is a five-year felony.
The Sheriff's Department reports the victim's bank contacted Adult Protective Services and Leelanau County detectives in August of 2012 because the victim's account was overdrawn and unusually large amounts of money had been removed.
The Sheriff said an investigation revealed Flees had been a part-time caregiver for the man for seven years.
Although authorities believe she was embezzling from the man for a long period of time, she was only charged with accepting large amounts of money over 2 1/2 years before the issue came to the attention of law enforcement.
The investigation revealed that over $40,000 was taken from January 2010 until August 2012.
The Sheriff's department said the suspect used the money to pay her own bills and the bills of other family members.
A sibling told investigators that Flees paid $7,000 in medical bills for her. Flees also paid over $8,000 in mortgage payments.
Because of the victim's mental state, he is considered a vulnerable adult and it is not possible to determine whether the suspect asked for the money or accepted it after he offered to give it to her.
The Sheriff said the law protects victims who are unable to make informed decisions regarding their finances and are at risk of being exploited financially.
Flees is out on bond. She is scheduled to be in court next on December 20 for a preliminary examination.