MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Terry Graham is bed ridden. Doctors say a brain tumor started growing three months ago, but her family just found out. They’re also just finding out that she’s been the victim of elder abuse. Unfortunately, they believe one of her close friends is the suspect and has taken money out Graham’s account.
“There was $10,000 taken from Regions. Then that Monday she wrote a $3,000 check, then July 12 she went to the credit union and got $72,572,” says Graham’s daughter, Terry Lynch.
The bank told her it was a friend of her mother’s who had recently been added to the bank account.
They are telling me that she’s the one signing the checks but that’s all they’ll tell me at this point,” says Ginger Lynch.
This all happened while Graham was in the hospital. She added her friend to her bank account so that she could get help paying medical bills.
She got another shock after she got home. The keys to her house were gone, so they had to change the locks to get in. A filing cabinet was also missing—and with it her social security card, driver’s license, birth certificate and her will. Cash was missing as well as her prescription medications.
Graham’s daughter, Ginger says her mom’s mailing address had also been changed because they haven’t gotten mail in over a week. She now believes her mother’s friend had help from a family member.
“Unfortunately, what we see most frequently are family members taking advantage of other family members,” says Sgt. Keith Miller with Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Keith Miller with Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says in cases like these, a family member should gain power of attorney.
“If they’re to the level, either physically or mentally that they need a full-time caregiver chances are you would want to accept that responsibility to handle their daily affairs, particularly where there’s a large amount of money or bank accounts, things of that nature,” says Miller.
And if you’re hiring someone to take care of your relative, you’ll want to screen them and their agency closely. Meanwhile, Ginger Lynch has filed reports and is working with the police on this case.