RECENT FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION CASES

I thought this week I would include financial exploitation cases.  These cases wreak havoc on the lives of the victims and their families.

The first case is State of Arizona v. Giles. Linda Giles was convicted of  murdering, abusing  and stealing from James Carafas, an 84-year-old widower.  She had known him and his deceased wife for some time.  When his wife died, she emerged.

Carafas was still grieving over the loss of his wife, Mary.  Carafas was losing his eyesight and hearing when Giles took advantage of him. Giles emotionally and financially exploited Carafas.

Giles persuaded Carafas to name her his sole beneficiary, put more than $100,000 into a bank account for her and open a joint account with her. Carafas also put her on the deeds of more than a dozen rental properties he owned.

On November 2006, Giles ran over him with his truck in his driveway and killed him. Giles was sentenced to 18.5 years for theft from a vulnerable adult and 1.75 years for vulnerable-adult abuse and ran them concurrently to each other, and concurrently to the manslaughter charge for 10.5 years.   The judge also ordered Giles to pay $540,000 in restitution to Carafas’ beneficiaries.

The second case happened in North Central Florida involving  83-year-old Edward Bozarth and Ronald Hawk,63,  his caregiver.  Mr. Bozarth was, for the most part, independent but needed someone to  run errands and take him to his doctor appointments.  He never married or had any children.  His siblings were scattered around the country.  He sought help from Hawk, his neighbor.  They became friends.  In 2009, he was informed by health care workers that he needed a roommate or be placed in a nursing home.  Being independent, he asked Hawk to move in. Hawk  was living with his mother at the time.  In exchange, he would run errands and take him to his doctor appointments.  Bozarth had no idea that Hawk had a drug addiction.  In no time, Hawk turned Bozarth into a prisoner.  He started spending his military pension and Social Security checks and stole $50,000.00  in savings.  He stopped feeding him, running errands and stopped giving him his high blood pressure medication.  Hawk was trying to get life insurance for Bozarth.

Bozarth managed to sneak out of the apartment and went to Karen Garrison, the apartment manager.  He told her that he needed help and the police were called and Hawk was arrested. Karen Garrison is looking after him and he is living in a different unit rent free.

In these two cases, it is clear that the perpetrators exploit the needs of the victim. James Carafas was grieving and lonely and Edward Bozarth needed a roommate. They had put their trust in people who they thought really cared about their well-being.  Unfortunately, it costs Carafas his life.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them.

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