LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A woman who assisted an 86-year-old veteran with dementia had him give her the power of attorney and became the sole beneficiary of his entire estate after his death, court documents said.
Carolyn Richardson is also accused of attempting to take the man’s mobile home and two cars. She is charged with financial exploitation of an older or vulnerable person, attempted theft, theft, neglect and isolation.
The man’s name is not included in the documents.
According to court documents, Richardson had the man sign forms, giving her the power of attorney and making her the sole beneficiary of his estate. They had known each other for less than a year.
She identified herself to police as the man’s neighbor, who helped him for several months before his death.
Metro Police arrested her earlier this month after a months-long investigation by Adult Protective Services and Metro investigators.
The veteran died in February 2021. According to court records, he had bequeathed his trust to Richardson in November 2020, a few months after doctors diagnosed him with dementia and severe hearing loss.
In addition, it was revealed the veteran was undernourished.
Investigators said the man, identified as a prominent local military figure, had intended to leave tens of thousands of dollars to military and children’s charities. A copy of the updated will shows $130,000 meant for those charities was reduced to $19,000 and the rest of the estate was to go to Richardson.
Police said $30,000 of the veteran’s money and a car are missing. Police allege money and jewelry were stolen from him.