Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Postal Inspectors: Con Artist Duped 88-Year Old Woman Into Giving Him POA, Then Used It To Score Reverse Mortgage On Victim's Free & Clear Home; Suspect Pocketed $51K, Leaves Premises In Foreclosure

In St. Louis, Missouri, WOAI-TV Channel 4 reports:

  • Senior citizens are often prime targets for con artists. In one case, an 88-year-old woman is on the verge of losing her home.

    "My uncle and aunt purchased this house in 1948," explained Jackie Keller-Smith, who is the woman's niece. "It was paid off in the 70's." Jackie is trying to help her aunt save her home from foreclosure after a con artist stole it right out from under her. "He said 'If you let me stay, I will give you $50 a week,' I think he said," victim Agnes Dismuke recalled. "He didn't give me nothing."

    "He" is a man named Larry Bradshaw who investigators say convinced Agnes to give him her power of attorney - according to postal inspectors.

    "He used the Power of Attorney to obtain credit cards, loans, and for his own personal gain," said U.S. Postal Inspector Don Washington.

    In fact, postal inspectors say Bradshaw refinanced Agnes's home with a reverse mortgage, made off with $51,000, and Agnes never saw a dime.

    "He didn't see any husband here, and he just took advantage of me," said Agnes.

    She was unaware any of this was happening, and she is now in jeopardy of losing her home, which is in foreclosure.

    "This is despicable. She has been here all of her life," Agnes' niece Jackie said.

    City officials have halted plans to evict Agnes. But the possibility of her being forced out of her home is still a reality as courts, banks, and law enforcement try to reconcile all of the issues.

    Larry Bradshaw was arrested last month on wire fraud charges but has been released pending trial.
Source: Officials: Con artist steals woman's home.

For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Local Man Indicted On Fraud Charges.

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