Man pleads to stealing nearly $100,000 from 2 elderly women
BY RON SYLVESTER
The Wichita Eagle
Gary Washburn was convicted of stealing nearly $100,000 from two Wichita-area women, after falsely telling one he was the nephew of District Attorney Nola Foulston.
Washburn, 50, was charged with taking more than $94,000 from an 87-year-old Wichita woman over what he called defective lightning rods on her house.
Tania Groover, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said Washburn's plea represents just one example of people trying to fleece older adults in Sedgwick County.
Sabin, 87, testified in a preliminary hearing earlier this summer that Washburn and Carl Leonard installed four lightning rods at her house. She said Washburn and another man would periodically return, claiming they needed to adjust the lightning rods.
The men would stay for about 15 minutes each time, then ask for money, Sabin recalled.
Washburn then told Sabin the lightning rods were defective and he needed to sue the manufacturer. Sabin testified Washburn asked for more money to help with attorney fees but promised she'd get it back.
Washburn also pleaded to taking $3,060 from Thelma Anderson, 85, in a another deception.
Washburn faces four years in prison when he returns for sentencing in October before Judge Jeff Goering.
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