We all know that the elderly are prime targets for con artists, and this case proves as a warning for anyone who thinks it could never happen to them.
“My uncle and aunt purchased this house in 1948. It was paid off in the 70s,” explained Jackie Keller-Smith.
Keller-Smith is trying to help her 88-year-old aunt, Agnes Dismuke, save her home from foreclosure after a con artist stole it right out from under her.
“He said if you let me stay, I will give you $50 a week, I think he said, he didn’t give me nothing,” said Dismuke.
Authorities say Larry Bradshaw convinced Dismuke to give him her power of attorney.
“He used the Power of Attorney to obtain credit cards, loans and for his own personal gain,” said US Postal Inspector, Don Washington.
In fact, postal iInspectors say Bradshaw refinanced Dismuke's home with a reverse mortgage and made off with $51,000. Dismuke never saw a dime.
“He didn’t see any husband here, and he just took advantage of me,” she said.
Dismuke was unaware any of this was happening. Now, she is in jeopardy of losing her home, which is in foreclosure.
“This is despicable. She has been here all of her life,“ said Keller-Smith.
Postal Inspectors say this is an important warning for the elderly living alone.
“If at all possible, get help from close friends or family especially before making financial transactions especially with people you don’t know,” said Washington.
Authorities in Dsimuke's hometown have halted plans to evict her, but the possibility of her being forced out of her home is still a reality as courts, banks and law enforcement try to reconcile all of the issues. Bradshaw was arrested in March on wire fraud charges, but has been released pending trial.