Adoptive parents indicted for defrauding son of lawsuit proceeds
Anchorage, AK – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, May 31, 2012, that
EDWARD DRONES, a 61 year-old resident of Anchorage, Alaska, and his wife LORI WILEY DRONES,
a 57 year-old resident of Everett, Washington, were indicted by a federal grand jury in
Anchorage on twenty-four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1343. The indictment seeks
forfeiture of a home in Everett, Washington, a mobile home in Anchorage, and more than two dozen items
of women’s fine jewelry. The United States also seeks to forfeit substitute assets and/or collect a money
judgment for up to $775,250.77 in the event forfeitable assets are dissipated or do not yield that amount.
According to the indictment filed with the court, defendants sued the State of Alaska on behalf of
their adopted son, A.D., for the state’s failure to protect A.D. while he was its ward. In 2008, before A.D.
was awarded the approximately $830,000 in net proceeds from the failure-to-protect lawsuit, Lori Wiley-
Drones petitioned the state to establish a conservator for A.D.’s estate, including the lawsuit proceeds. At
that time, A.D. was about to turn eighteen.
Lori Wiley-Drones’ petition was granted and a professional conservator was appointed to manage
A.D.’s funds. However, thereafter, defendants caused A.D.’s professional conservator to be removed, and
Edward Drones to be appointed instead, by falsely representing that Edward Drones had not declared
bankruptcy within the past ten years, would manage A.D.’s funds in accordance with the prudent investor
rule, and would manage A.D.’s funds solely for A.D.’s benefits.
The indictment alleges that in the eleven months after Edward Drones became A.D.’s conservator,
Edward Drones and Lori Wiley-Drones spent all but $15.05 of A.D.’s lawsuit proceeds. Indeed, during
the first month that Edward Drones was A.D.’s conservator, the indictment alleges that the defendants
spent an average of over $1000 per day, yet obscured that fact by filing a Conservator’s Implementation
Report and Inventory that falsely represented that little of A.D.’s funds had been spent.
The indictment further alleges that the defendants’ expenditures from A.D.’s accounts included
$221,067 for a Washington state home titled exclusively to Lori Wiley-Drones, over $60,000 on home
improvements, over $124,000 in online payments on credit cards that did not belong to A.D., over
$49,000 in vehicle purchases although A.D. did not have a driver’s license, and over $25,000 to purchase
Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sayers-Fay, who presented the case to the grand jury,
advised that each of the wire fraud counts carries a maximum sentence of twenty years’ imprisonment, a
$250,000 fine, three years supervised release and mandatory special assessment of $100 per count.
The Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and Anchorage Police
Department conducted the investigation that led to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and
is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.Return to Top