Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Michigan woman arrrested for embezzling father's funds using Power of Attorney

Here's an example of exactly what not to do when you're appointed under a Power of Attorney. Renee Bullock of Michigan has been arrested and accused of embezzling $140,000 of her father's funds while acting under her father's Power of Attorney. Her father was in a nursing home, and she spent the money on vehicles, tanning and nail salons rather than pay the bills at the nursing home. Honestly, how could anyone think that situation would go undetected? Click here to read more about this story.

I notice from reading the news story that one of the things Ms. Bullock is accused of doing with her father's money is paying back payday loans. I wonder whether her father was aware that she was having money problems. It's never a good idea to appoint someone with money shortages or money management problems as your Power of Attorney. The fact that the person you appoint is one of your children will not change the fact that they will be tempted to use your money for the things they can't afford, as this story illustrates. Elder financial abuse by a family member is, unfortunately, very common.

Although this story is American, the same things happen in Canada. Our criminal law includes a specific offense for those who steal money using a Power of Attorney, as it is considered a position of trust.

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