Elder Law

Did Power of Attorney OK $180K Gift?

A power of attorney authorized its holder to give herself $180,000, a defense attorney contended yesterday in a fraud trial over money allegedly stolen from an elderly woman.

Because a clause in the document authorized Cheri Drick to spend money on gifts, including gifts to herself, it was legal for her to transfer to herself $180,000 in funds from the holdings of an elderly Illinois woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, argued attorney Gerald Kielian. Drick and her husband, Joe, who is a former Joliet fire chief, are both defendants in the case, which concerns $180,000 taken from Gladys Farrington’s accounts over the course of one year, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Farrington died in 2005, but gave a videotaped deposition before her death accusing the Dricks of defrauding her that apparently is to be part of the evidence at trial. Both are charged with theft by deception, financial exploitation of an elderly person and conspiracy to commit financial exploitation of an elderly person.

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