Couple suspected of bilking 86-year-old |

Couple suspected of bilking 86-year-old

by Sheila Gardner

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of a couple suspected of depleting $300,000 from the savings of an 86-year-old man whom they befriended.

Charges were filed April 19 against Denise M. Allen, 54, and her husband, Michael Gene Allen, 53, former neighbors of the man when he lived in Indian Hills.

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.

East Fork Justice Tom Perkins set bail at $20,000 cash for each suspect.

They 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, which determined the man needed protection of the court.

The victim has been moved to an assisted living facility, and 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 a 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 and cautioned, “Stealing from old people is wrong, illegal and will not be tolerated in Douglas County.”

Giomi said 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.