A Liberty Township
man has been accused of plundering his elderly mother’s bank accounts and
using her identity to open fraudulent credit card accounts, the Porter
County Sheriff’s Police said.
Briney, 47, of 4 Browning Lane, was booked into the Porter County Jail on
Monday, charged with five counts of fraud and one of identity deception.
According to the
probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Sgt. Tim Manteuffel, in 2010 Briney
and his siblings decided to move their mother from Florida to Indiana after
it was determined she could no longer care for herself. In August 2011 she
was subsequently diagnosed with dementia and then suffered a stroke “which
resulted in her no longer having any kind of memory” and at that point the
siblings decided to move their mother into a brother’
In November 2011,
however, Briney advised his sister that he intended to buy a home and move
his mother into it, a plan to which the sister objected because “she did not
want their mother’s money tied up in case she had to be placed in a nursing
home,” Manteuffel stated. Nevertheless, in June 2012 Briney moved into what
his sister described as an “extremely extravagant” house at 4 Browning Lane
in Liberty Township.
“Suspicious of this
activity, (Briney’s sister) went on line and learned that the owner of the
house was (their mother) and that she had purchased the home in December of
2011, after her dementia diagnosis,” Manteuffel stated.
Then, in August
2012, on an attorney’s advice, the sister requested her mother’s credit
report and discovered that five credit card accounts had been established
between January and June 2012 with balances totaling $36,777; that a Florida
savings account with a previous balance of $41,599.50 had been emptied; that
an $8,000 CD had been cashed; and that her mother’s IRA had been changed and
now listed Briney as the beneficiary, Manteuffel stated.
attempts” to interview Briney, Manteuffel finally succeeded in February
2013. At that time Briney “insisted that (his mother) was of sound mind and
knew what she was doing when she purchased the house,” Manteuffel stated.
But though Briney
“gave different explanations for the various accounts in dispute,” he did
“ultimately” admit “that, because he is still unemployed, he is paying his
bills out of his mother’s accounts,” Manteuffel stated.
Briney has never
had power of attorney over his mother’s finances, Manteuffel added; Briney
acknowledged in a September 2011 email to his sister that their mother’s
condition precluded her from legally signing a contract; and an RN familiar
with Briney’s mother stated that she would “not be able to make decisions on
her own, sign paperwork, or open a credit card account.”
Each of the six
counts filed against Briney is a Class D felony punishable by a term of six
months to three years.
Bond was set at
$1,500 cash only.