Attorneys appointed for couple accused of exploiting 86-year-old |

Attorneys appointed for couple accused of exploiting 86-year-old

by Sheila Gardner

Lawyers were appointed Monday for a husband and wife accused of depleting $300,000 from the savings of an 86-year-old man.

Denise M. Allen, 54, and her husband, Michael Gene Allen, 53, appeared Monday in custody before Tahoe Township Justice Richard Glasson who was filling in for Justice Tom Perkins

The Allens are each charged with two felonies: exploitation of an elderly person, and obtaining or using the personal identity of a person without authorization.

They were taken into custody Friday, and bail was set at $20,000 cash for each suspect.

Both Allens said they were unemployed and could not afford attorneys.

Glasson appointed Jamie Henry to represent Michael Allen and Derrick Lopez to represent his wife.

The judge released Denise Allen on her own recognizance after she appeared at her arraignment in a wheelchair. She told Glasson she was disabled.

Glasson ordered her to make all court appearances, and told her she could not drive and must abstain from drugs, alcohol, weapons and dangerous firearms.

She and her husband are to appear Wednesday with their attorneys. Glasson did not change Michael Allen’s bail.

Prosecutor Erik Levin, citing the severity of the allegations, asked that the defendants’ bail remain.

“These are serious crimes. They involve the betrayal of trust,” Levin said.

The Allens are accused of acquiring the victim’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.

John Giomi, director of Douglas County’s Special Advocates For the Elderly program, believes 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 charges were filed following an April 17 hearing before District Judge Tod Young, who ruled the man needed protection of the court.

The victim has been moved to an assisted living facility.

According to court documents, Denise Allen convinced the victim last fall to award her power of attorney, revoking it from a niece.

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.

According to reports, the Allens met the man five years ago.