Texas Personal Assistant Charged with Fraud for Stealing from her Elderly Client
HOUSTON – A 40-year-old Richmond woman has been indicted for fraud and making false statements regarding her participation in a scheme to defraud her 94-year-old client who is now legally blind, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI and Harris County Precinct One Constable Alan Rosen.
A federal grand jury returned the four-count indictment against Amy Anglin aka Amy Powell May 30, 2019. Today, law enforcement took her into custody. She is expected to make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy at 2:00 p.m. today.
“Because of the complex nature of these case, the Department of Justice is uniquely suited to investigate and prosecute elder fraud,” said Patrick. “As the Attorney General has stressed, elder fraud will not be taken lightly and sadly this is just one of many similar allegations that we see routinely. I thank the family for bringing this case to the attention of law enforcement and we will do everything in our power to make sure justice is served on Ms. Anglin.”
Anglin is charged with two counts of fraud and two counts of making false statements to federal employees.
“Our investigators worked tirelessly on this appalling case to ensure Ms. Anglin was brought to justice for her alleged crimes,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Darryl Wegner. “Ms. Anglin allegedly capitalized on an elderly man’s vulnerability without any regard for his well-being. The FBI, alongside its local, state and federal partners, will continue to work every day to protect our elderly neighbors from fraud and abuse. We urge anyone with information about elder fraud or abuse to contact law enforcement immediately.”
The indictment alleges Anglin began working for a successful real estate developer in Houston in approximately 2015 when he 91 years old and his eyesight was beginning to fail. Anglin allegedly took advantage of the victim’s poor health and began to steal money from his bank accounts and misused his credit cards to purchase, among other things, airline tickets for herself and her family. Anglin would get her elderly victim to sign checks he believed were legitimate and authorized expenditures, according to the charges. She would then allegedly have the funds deposited into her personal bank account.
“I cannot articulate how disturbed I am by allegations in this case,” said Constable Alan Rosen. “I take seriously any possible crimes against the elderly, particularly those who are disabled. This woman is charged with taking advantage of a man who is 54 years her senior. I appreciate the collaborative efforts of the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office in pursuing this case and ensuring justice is served.”
Anglin would also illegally convert the victim’s assets by use of both his bank account and his credit cards, according to the indictment. In addition to using her access to the victim’s banking accounts and business credit cards, the charges allege Anglin wired herself large amounts of money and used Western Union to transfer the victim’s money to her friends and acquaintances. Anglin allegedly transferred funds from the victim’s accounts to pay for vacations in Las Vegas, resorts in Hawaii and trips to her hometown. Anglin also used the stolen money to pay for country club memberships, golf lessons, overdue child support payments and major home improvements, including a hot tub, according to the indictment.
The charges further allege that at no time during the fraud scheme was Anglin authorized to make these transfers or payments.
Anglin’s scheme was uncovered when the victim’s family began to question certain payments associated with his accounts, according to the indictment.
With the help of a Houston-based attorney, the family has estimated the total amount of fraud associated with Anglin’s scheme to be more than $550,000.
The scheme allegedly began in late 2015 and continued until approximately December 2018.
If convicted of wire fraud, Anglin faces up to 20 years in federal prison, while a conviction for making false statements, carries a potential five-year-prison term.
The FBI and Harris County Precinct One Constable’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heyward Carter and Steve Mellin are prosecuting the case.
The charges are the result of a renewed effort by law enforcement to protect America’s older citizens from elder abuse.
Since President Trump signed the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) into law, The Department of Justice has participated in hundreds of enforcement actions in criminal and civil cases that targeted or disproportionately affected seniors. In particular, this past February the Attorney General announced the largest elder fraud enforcement action in American history, charging more than 200 defendants in a nationwide elder fraud sweep. The Department has likewise conducted hundreds of trainings and outreach sessions across the country since the passage of the Act.
Elder justice refers to a society’s response to elder abuse, which includes physical abuse, caregiver neglect, financial exploitation, psychological abuse, sexual abuse and abandonment.
Elder fraud complaints may be filed with the FTC or at 877-FTC-HELP. The Department of Justice provides a variety of resources relating to elder fraud victimization through its Office of Victims of Crime. Additional elder justice resources, training, and outreach materials can be found at the Elder Justice Website.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.