Couple must pay $100,000
November 18, 2013
A couple accused of bilking an 86-year-old man will have to pay $100,000 restitution after pleading guilty to one count of exploitation of the elderly.
Denise M. Allen, 54, and her husband, Michael Gene Allen, 54, both reluctantly entered pleas in Douglas County District Court on Monday.
They face a maximum sentence of 4-10 years in Nevada state prison and a $10,000 fine in addition to paying the restitution.
The victim has since died.
On Monday, Denise Allen admitted that she had power of attorney but that she got the victim's permission for everything they spent. However, the victim's niece had power of attorney, and it had been determined he wasn't competent to make his own financial decisions.
According to court documents, Denise Allen convinced the victim last fall to award her power of attorney, revoking it from his niece.
Allen reportedly took the elderly man to an attorney in Carson City who prepared the paperwork.
A state caseworker reported that it was determined that Allen lacked the necessary documentation to prove the victim was competent to make the change, so the power of attorney was invalid.
In the meantime, Allen reportedly wrote checks to others, including a $4,000 expense for dental work and bought a pickup truck. They also paid $20,043.36 for a 2006 Yukon Denali luxury SUV.
Officials believe the Allens went through $300,000 of the victim's money between October last year, and this March, when Public Guardian Claudette Springmeyer was appointed to oversee his care.
The victim has been determined to be incompetent to make decisions regarding his health or finances.
"We had his confidence and trust," Michael Allen told District Judge Michael Gibbons. "We helped him and he helped us."
Denise Allen said they sold his house while he was under their influence from Jan. 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013. She told Gibbons they had the notary come and he signed the documents.
The plea deal was contingent on both Allens pleading guilty to the charges. Gibbons told them that they didn't have to plead guilty, and stressed that each had to make their own decision.
Denise Allen's attorney Derrick Lopez said that while no one pressured his client to plead guilty, there was some pressure in the original charges the couple faced, which will be dropped as a result of the plea agreement.
"Reluctance is fine, as long as their pleas are voluntary," Gibbons said.
He set sentencing for Jan. 13.