Friday, August 26, 2011

Trio Pinched For Obtaining, Abusing POA From Frail, Vulnerable Senior To Pocket Proceeds From Loan Against 1st Home, Sale Of Vacation Home

In Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, The Express Times reports:

  • A Hanover Township woman, her former fiance and her daughter are accused of conspiring to steal $260,000 from an 88-year-old Emmaus woman and failing to care for her medical needs.

  • Penelope Veronikis, 49, and Barbara Paxos, 26, both of the 1200 block of Granite Drive in Hanover Township, Northampton County, and Hristos G. Dimou, 49, of the 3700 block of Church View Road in Upper Milford Township, depleted Queen E. Hersh's assets -- including a Poconos vacation home, bank accounts and her Emmaus home -- for their own pleasure from June 2006 through August 2008, police said.

  • The trio was charged [] with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, criminal conspiracy, theft and related offenses. Veronikis and Dimou are also charged with reckless endangerment.

  • Hersh, who was 88 when the thefts began, died at age 90 in December 2008. She lived in Emmaus in a home she owned free and clear with her sister, Ella Crawford. Crawford worked as a waitress and supervisor at the Emmaus Diner owned by Dimou, police said.

  • In 2006 Crawford became ill and died. She was the lone caretaker for Hersh. Both women were widowed and neither woman had any children, police said. According to court papers, Crawford asked Dimou to take care of Hersh, and he agreed.

  • Two days after Crawford's death, police said, Veronikis took Hersh to a Bethlehem attorney, Ewalde Cook, who prepared a power of attorney document.


  • Veronikis allegedly used her power of attorney to take out a $50,000 mortgage against Hersh's Emmaus home in 2007 and never made a payment on the loan. According to court papers, Veronikis' hold on Hersh unraveled after Hersh was served with a foreclosure notice in July 2008. Hersh, distraught and confused, went to a neighbor to help explain the foreclosure notice since she had not had a mortgage for more than 20 years, police said. The neighbor referred Hersh to attorney Karl Longenbach. Longenbach's office investigated Hersh's case and dissolved Veronikis' power of attorney and destroyed the will naming Veronikis as sole beneficiary.

For the story, see Hanover Township women, Upper Milford man accused of stealing $260,000 from elderly woman.

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