Elderly fraud victim describes her ordeal
Two men pleaded guilty Friday in separate fraud cases in which they spent significant amounts of money on themselves rather than for the care of ailing relatives.
Each man had been appointed to act as power of attorney to pay for the bills and debts on behalf of a relative with Alzheimer’s disease in a nursing home.
Paul Anthony Long II, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. A dozen other counts will be dismissed as part of his plea agreement.
“I did write a check from my grandfather’s account to cash for $25,000,” Long said in court before U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves. That was a small amount of the total taken.
John Jerome O’Hara, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud. Sixteen other counts will be dismissed as part of his plea agreement.
“I was my mom’s power of attorney and I used the money inappropriately,” O’Hara told Judge Reeves.
Long took money from his grandfather’s accounts the entire time that older man, a World War II veteran, was in Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, according to court records.
The indictment said Long wrote checks to himself and his wife, paid credit card bills and withdrew more than $100,000 from automatic teller machines.
Long, a teacher at Lexington Traditional Magnet School, did not tell his two siblings about how he was using their grandfather’s assets even though they were entitled to a share of the assets under his will, according to the indictment.
When Long had to account for his grandfather’s assets, he made a false statement under oath that his grandfather had approved each withdrawal and expenditure, the indictment charged.
The government had said it intended to seek $608,395 from Long, which represents the amount he received as a result of the offenses between 2011 and December 2015, when the grandfather died, according to court documents.
The indictment against O’Hara said that he spent more than $332,000 that was supposed to go to his mother’s care at Wesley Manor Retirement Community in Louisville.
O’Hara, a car salesman for Rod Hatfield Chevrolet, failed to pay all his mother owed for living expenses at Wesley Manor, causing other family members to pay in excess of $100,000 to keep her residence there, the indictment said.
O’Hara also failed to make mortgage payments on his mother’s house in Lexington, which went into foreclosure in March 2018.
The punishment for bank fraud is up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million and supervised release of no more than five years. The punishment for wire fraud is up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and supervised release of no more than three years.
Each men will be remain free until his sentencing on May 17 in Lexington. The amount of restitution each man will pay will be determined at that time.