Man charged with defrauding elderly Gold Coast woman of over $1 million

A man has been charged after allegedly defrauding an elderly family member on the Gold Coast of more than $1 million.

Detectives from Financial and Cyber Crime Group, Crime and Intelligence Command, commenced an investigation in January 2021 after a complaint was received on behalf of an 83-year-old Ashmore woman, who claimed funds were been misappropriated from her bank accounts.

Investigators discovered that a 64-year-old Melbourne man, who is a family member of the victim, had transferred over $1.145 million dollars from the woman’s bank accounts into his own between 2014 and 2018.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


Police will allege that due to illness, the woman did not have capacity to provide him with permission to access these funds. Police will also allege the man never held an authority of enduring power of attorney to lawfully access her finances.

The man is also accused of using the woman’s debit card to make over $150,000 in unauthorised purchases or withdrawals for his own use, leaving her account nearly empty.

Last week, detectives travelled to Melbourne to execute a search warrant at an Elwood residence.

The 64-year-old man has since been charged with one count of fraud greater than $100,000.

He is due to appear before the Brisbane Magistrates Court July 4 2022.

Detective Superintendent Lance Vercoe of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said the investigation highlights police will act to protect and support victims of elder abuse.

“In all of my 42 years of policing, I find these types of offences the most gut wrenching and disturbing, that someone could treat their loved ones this way,” Detective Superintendent Vercoe said.

“I would recommend that the elderly and vulnerable never feel ashamed and to take control if this behaviour occurs and always reach out to a support person or friend”.

The Public Trustee and CEO, Samay Zhouand said almost all cases of elder abuse occur within family relationships.

“It’s devasting, but over 80 percent of financial elder abuse reports in Queensland involve family or friends mismanaging their role as attorney.

“The Queensland Police Service plays such an important role, and we thank you for your critical work.

“But, it does not stop there.

“We all have a role in raising awareness of elder abuse and financial fraud to reduce the risk of elder abuse in the community,” Mr Zhouand said.