IOWA PARK (KFDX/KJTL) — An Iowa Park woman with power of attorney of a man in a health care facility is accused of stealing more than $60,000 from his account, some of it withdrawn from ATMs at a casino, and thousands more found in her safety deposit box.
Sonia Jackson Lee, 68, is charged with financial abuse of the elderly, with an amount greater than $30,000.
Iowa Park Police said an Adult Protective Service investigator said Lee obtained power of attorney of the victim’s bank account in February when he was admitted to the health care facility in Iowa Park.
They said the investigation began in July, when the investigator learned large amounts of money were being withdrawn, and checks were being written on his account by Lee.
The investigator said by August 1, $35,000 to $50,000 of the victim’s funds were unaccounted for, and she questioned Lee. She said Lee told her some of that money had been used to repair damage done by the victim to her daughter’s home, but she had no receipts for these repairs.
The investigator also asked Lee about $12,000 withdrawn from the victim’s account that was in her safety deposit box. She said Lee could not recall why she had that money.
The investigator discovered that large withdrawals from the victim’s account by Lee began in March of 2022 and continued through July, and between March and May, large deposits were made to Lee’s account.
According to the investigator, many of the withdrawals were made at ATMs at casinos.
On August 30, the investigator learned that Lee called the victim’s bank to have $100 transferred to her account, so she could get a room at a casino.
As of July 23, 2022, the investigator totaled the amount of withdrawals and transactions by Lee from the victim’s account at $94,822.
Lee agreed to be questioned on August 30 and said the funds she had spent or withdrawn were used to pay for his care, but she did not offer any proof.
The finance director of the health care facility told a police investigator as of September 9, 2022, the victim had been billed $27,102, and $27,464 had been paid.
The police investigator said that left $67,358 unaccounted for.