Caretaker accused of exploiting 91-year-old for $100K

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Wayne Dziadul
St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Wayne Dziadul

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A 68-year-old Ponte Vedra Beach man was arrested Friday on a charge of exploitation of the elderly for $100,000 or more.

Wayne Dziadul was booked into the St. Johns County jail with bail set at $25,000.

The investigation began last August when a 91-year-old Ponte Vedra Beach man reported a significant amount of jewelry missing from within his and his wife's home, deputies said. Among the items taken were several gold watches, assorted rare jewelry items and old currency and coins.

At the time, the victim told deputies that himself, his wife, a friend who does work around the house and a housekeeper were the only people who had access to the home. There was also no evidence of any forced entry.

The investigation led detectives to the housekeeper, who ended employment abruptly in June, deputies said.

The woman was tracked to Colorado and was located by authorities there and questioned, deputies said. They said she denied taking the items and there was no evidence of any pawn activity from her, removing her as a potential
suspect at the time.

On Thursday, a detective investigating other burglaries and thefts was searching the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office pawn system and found the name of the victim's friend who pawned many items on numerous dates last year, deputies said. They said some of those items matched those that were reported missing from the victim's home.

Dziadul is charged with using his position of trust as a caregiver to the victims to obtain by deception the victims' assets worth more than $100,000 between March and August.