Couple waive hearing in elderly exploitation case
October 19, 2013
A couple accused of bilking an 86-year-old man out of $300,000 are to appear Nov. 5 before District Judge Tod Young on three felony charges each.
Denise M. Allen, 54, and her husband, Michael Gene Allen, 54, waived their preliminary hearings set Friday before East Fork Judge Tom Perkins.
Prosecutor Laurie Trotter was prepared to call nine witnesses to testify at the hearing to determine if a crime had been committed, and the Allens were the likely suspects.
In an amended criminal complaint the Allens were charged with exploitation of an elderly person, obtaining the identity of and using personal information of another person, and embezzlement against a person age 60 or older.
The Allens originally were charged with two felonies each; the embezzlement charge was added in September.
Lawyer Derrick Lopez was appointed to represent Denise Allen and Jamie Henry was appointed to represent her husband.
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They are out of custody on bail.
The criminal complaint states that the crimes allegedly occurred from Jan. 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013.
The victim now resides at an assisted living facility.
They are accused of acquiring the elderly man's name, checking account and Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and his date of birth without his permission.
With that information, they paid bills, wrote personal checks, and made purchases.
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.
Original charges were filed following an April 17 hearing before Young, which determined the man needed protection of the court.
The victim has been determined to be incompetent to make decisions regarding his health or finances.
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; bought a pickup truck. They also paid $20,043.36 for a 2006 Yukon Denali luxury SUV.
According to reports, the Allens met the man five years ago.
Authorities were alerted to possible criminal activity by concerned neighbors who felt "something was just not right" with the man's care.
The Allens contested the appointment of Springmeyer as guardian, but Young ruled they had no legal standing.
Other than the vehicle purchases, authorities have been unable to find the rest of the man's cash. One witness said the Allens were allegedly purchasing property in Florida.
Michael Allen reportedly was overheard at the nursing home admitting to the victim that he and his wife took the money, according to reports.