Couple accused of scamming neighbor with dementia out of home, money

Couple accused of scamming woman with dementia
Posted at 7:57 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 07:07:40-05

A Milwaukee couple is accused of scamming an elderly woman with dementia out of her home, along with tens of thousands of dollars.

Court records state this all started when the couple obtained their neighbor's signature to become her power of attorney; however, no one has been charged with a crime in the case.

The alleged victim now has a court-appointed guardian. He tells TODAY’S TMJ4 the woman didn't know what she was doing. Meanwhile, her next door neighbors say they were just trying to help.

Inside the woman’s home on Milwaukee’s west side, her life is packed away into boxes, flooring is torn up, and now her guardian is trying to put it all back together. 

"It's always sad when you see individuals get away with so much," said Guardian Eamon Guerin.

Guerin claims the woman's next door neighbors took advantage of her dementia.

"There were all these signs of elder abuse that somebody should have said something," he said.

A search warrant obtained by TODAY’S TMJ4 states the married couple got their neighbor to sign a document giving them power of attorney and control of her bank accounts.

"They spent a large amount of money on a house they claim was gifted by my ward to them," said Guerin.

The documents also claim they spent $60,000 of her money to fix up the house while paying themselves to be caretakers.

"They then hired their friends and family and started paying them to do various services," Guerin said.

TODAY’S TMJ4 spoke with one of the men accused of theft.

"How did you guys become her power of attorney?” we asked. “We're going to not talk about this," replied Orlin Root-Thalman.

Root-Thalman claims he and his husband did nothing wrong.

"She was our friend," he said. "She had no family except a cousin and she broke her hip and she kept coming over and asking us for help and we gave it to her."

Guerin said the Milwaukee County Deparment of Aging caught on to this after a tip from a healthcare employee.

Be sure and try our new SNOWCAST APP! It is the "snow equivalent to STORM SHIELD" - a great new product that gives you high resolution snow forecasts for any part of the nation! It has just been introduced for iPhones, but we are working on the Android version! Just search SNOWCAST in the App Store or click here.