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Press Release

Daughter who stole more than $700,000 from elderly mother in Lewistown while serving as caregiver sentenced to four and one-half years in prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

GREAT FALLS — A woman who forged checks to steal more than $700,000 from her elderly mother in Lewistown while purporting to serve as her caregiver was sentenced today to four and one-half years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Roxanna Rae Lewis-Stella, 60, of Billings, pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court also ordered Lewis-Stella to pay $725,145 restitution.

“It shocks the conscience that after a lifetime of love from her mother, Lewis-Stella, when her vulnerable mom needed her most, stole so much of her money that her mom had to sell her home to move into an assisted living facility. Every case involving elder fraud and abuse is repulsive, but it is particularly odious when it is done by a family member. Whether the perpetrator is a family member or stranger, we will continue intensifying our efforts to fight elder fraud and abuse to protect the generations who came before us,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.

The government alleged that from November 2021 to July 2023, Lewis-Stella, under the guise of serving as caregiver for her mother, forged approximately 70 of her mother’s checks to steal her fortune. In one instance, Lewis-Stella attempted to cash a forged check for $500,000. Lewis-Stella also reused checks by altering numbers and depositing them twice. To conceal her crimes, Lewis-Stella called the banks and impersonated her mother and intercepted mailed bank statements before her mother could see them. In addition, Lewis-Stella stole and pawned a 100-ounce silver bar from her mother, used her father’s credit cards after his death to accumulate $14,000 in charges for her personal expenses and stole and forged a $12,505 life insurance check written to her husband’s son. Lewis-Stella used the money for clothes, travel, entertainment, restaurants, online shopping, cosmetic procedures and tattoos.

In addition, the government alleged that Lewis-Stella’s mother was a vulnerable victim because of her advanced age and because she relied almost entirely on her daughter for care. After the thefts were discovered, Lewis-Stella’s mother was forced to sell her home and move into an assisted living facility.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karla E. Painter and Ryan G. Weldon prosecuted the case. The FBI, Fergus County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Adult Protective Services conducted the investigation.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated June 7, 2024

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-149