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Melbourne man charged with defrauding 83-year-old family member of over $1.1 million

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Queensland Police have released the details of a 64-year-old Melbourne man arrested last week for allegedly defrauding an elderly family member of over 1 million dollars.

An investigation was launched in January by Detectives from The Financial and Cyber Crime Group and the Crime and Intelligence Command following a complaint from the Public Trustee.

The complaint made by the Public Trustee on behalf of an 83-year-old Ashmore woman alleged that funds had been misappropriated from her bank accounts.

Following an investigation, the police allege that the 64-year-old man transferred more than $1.145 million from the 83-year-olds bank accounts between 2014 and 2018 and claim that the woman was not in a capacity to have provided consent for access to the funds.

Police also alleged that the man had never had an authority of enduring power of attorney to access the woman’s finances lawfully.

The police further alleged that the man almost drained the 83-year-olds accounts and used her debit card to make over $150,000 in unauthorized purchases and withdrawals.

With the assistance of the Victoria Police Financial Crime Squad, Detectives from the Cyber Crime Group executed a search warrant on a residence in Elwood on June 7. Subsequently, they charged the man with one count of fraud.

The man will face court on July 4, 2022.

Police are urging the community to be vigilant following this instance of elder abuse as over 80 percent of financial elder abuse involves family or friends.

Detective Superintendent Lance Vercoe said this case highlighted the need for action to protect and support victims of elder abuse. Superintendent Vercoe said,

“In all of my 42 years of policing, I find these types of offences the most gut-wrenching and disturbing, that someone could treat their loved ones this way.”

If you know someone or are a victim of elder abuse or financial abuse, police are urging the public to contact the elder abuse helpline on 1300 651 192 for non-urgent matters or visit https://www.police.qld.gov.au/domestic-violence/elder-abuse.

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