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Press Release

Waterloo Woman Who Abused a Power of Attorney to Steal from a Victim Suffering from Dementia Sentenced to Prison

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

A woman who abused her position as an elderly victim’s power of attorney was sentenced on December 9, 2022, to more than three years in federal prison.

Shanan Smith, age 56, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a March 30, 2022 guilty plea to one count of wire fraud.

Information from the plea and sentencing hearings showed that Smith became the victim’s power of attorney after the victim began to suffer from dementia.  Smith eventually began to steal the victim’s money and use it for her own purposes.  This included gambling with the victim’s money.  Smith’s misspending of the victim’s money caused the victim’s nursing home bill to become thousands of dollars in arrears.  Smith eventually sold the victim’s house to bring the nursing home bill current.  Smith then spent the remainder of the proceeds from the sale of the house on her own expenses.  Smith has three prior felony convictions and fourteen theft convictions.    

Smith was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Smith was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment.  She was ordered to make $51,000 in restitution to relatives of the victim.  She must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Smith was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kyndra Lundquist and investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.  Court file information at

The case file number is 22-CR-2014.

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Updated December 16, 2022

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud