GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A husband and wife have pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from their elderly grandparents.
William and Karen Young pleaded guilty to stealing $227,000 from William’s grandparents, Francies Gibbs and her husband Harland Gibbs.
Francies, 93, and Harland, 92, moved into assisted living in Sept. 2008. In Nov. 2010, Westminster police were called by an elder law/probate attorney regarding what appeared to be theft from the couple’s accounts.
William Young, 41, had power of attorney for his grandmother. Between June 2009 and Dec. 2010, he and his wife emptied the Gibbs’ bank accounts and used their credit cards for their personal expenses.
Credit card receipts showed that Bill and Karen Young, 42, used the money to pay their $6,000 monthly mortgage, cable and utility bills at their home at 10857 Ouray Street in Commerce City.
They also used the stolen funds to pay their cell phone bills, purchase airline tickets to Las Vegas and to shop online and in retail stores.
At the plea hearing on Wednesday the Young’s defense attorney said the couple spent an average of $12,000 a month of stolen money.
Frances passed away in January. Harland passed away in Nov. 2010, prior to the case being filed.
Pam Kerr and her forensic accounting firm were hired to find the funds.
“Financial exploitation of the elderly, I see a lot,” Kerr said. “If you know of an elder that’s given somebody a power of attorney, make sure a third party is reviewing the accounting or looking to see what’s going on.”
William Young pleaded guilty to theft of an at-risk adult over $500. He could potentially be sentenced to four to 12 years when he is sentenced on May 13.
Karen Young pleaded guilty to theft of an at-risk adult less than $500. She could potentially be sentenced to one to three years in prison when she is sentenced on May 13.