Roca man, ex-wife arrested in elder abuse case
May 10, 2013
By JONATHAN EDWARDS / Lincoln Journal Star
A 45-year-old Roca man wiped out his mother’s $150,000 life savings over the past two years to pay for child support, a motorcycle and his ex-wife’s tanning and cosmetic surgery, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said.
On a doctor’s recommendation, Brian Glen Robinson’s 69-year-old mother gave her son and his then-wife, Carla Robinson, power of attorney in February 2011 and added both as signers to her checking and savings accounts, an affidavit for their arrest says.
During the next two years, Wagner said, the Robinsons drained her bank account of $156,000, including $67,000 in cash withdrawals, $49,000 in child support payments and a divorce settlement, restaurant meals, trips to day spas and tanning salons.
They also racked up a $19,200 debt on her credit card, he said.
“Her entire life savings has been depleted,” Wagner said. “Unfortunately, the money’s gone. It’s not recoverable.
“It’s very devastating for the victim.”
A month after getting power of attorney, Robinson’s mother put a $71,000 down payment on a Roca house where the three of them would live. The mother agreed to pay the mortgage, as long as her son and daughter-in-law paid for utilities and groceries.
Investigators didn't list the house payment in the affidavit, because the mother agreed to pay it, Wagner said.
He said elder abuse cases are tough because investigators have to wade through transactions and parse out which are legitimate and which are theft.
For example, Brian and Carla Robinson paid for his mother's care while they also were allegedly stealing from her, Wagner said.
The document granting Brian and Carla Robinson power of attorney forbids them from transferring money to themselves or using it to pay for their legal obligations, the affidavit says.
But after they moved in, it says, Robinson blocked his mother from looking at her mail, including bank statements, locking them in a room upstairs along with her purse.
Brian and Carla Robinson split up in late 2011 and divorced the next July. A Lancaster County District Court judge ordered him to pay $984 a month in child support for six months, and then $1,210 after that.
The judge also ordered him to pay her a one-time lump sum of $10,000.
Robinson made good on the order by paying $49,000 from his mother’s account between May 2012 and February, Wagner said.
One of the mother’s friends grew suspicious and took her to talk to investigators, who started looking into the matter in February.
Deputies jailed Brian and Carla Robinson on Wednesday and Tuesday, respectively, and prosecutors charged them with felony theft and abusing a vulnerable adult.
County Judge Jeffrey Marcuzzo let Brian Robinson out of jail on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.
County Judge Thomas Harmon ordered Carla Robinson to pay 10 percent of her $10,000 bond before she was released from jail Tuesday
SOURCE: The Journal Star
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