Con Artist Admits Stealing $300,000 From Elderly Dementia Victim

A con artist has admitted to stealing $300,000 from an elderly woman in Manhattan, according to a report from The New York Post on Monday, February 25.

Edward Lewando, the 52-year-old con man in question, targeted 91-year-old Ellen Korne in June 2009 while working at her bank.

Lewando was able to convince Korne and her family to condense her separate checking accounts into one, and to allow him authority of oversight.

For two years, Lewando abused that authority, paying frequent visits to Korne’s apartment and writing checks out to cash that he would then use to fund his love for Louis Vuitton products, added a report from The New York Daily News.

Lewando pled guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday in exchange for a three- to nine-year prison sentence.

Korne died in May 2012 at age 94, shortly before Lewando’s arrest, but was aware of the betrayal, according to the case laid out by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit.

Elizabeth Loewy of the Elder Abuse Unit said during the DA presentation that Lewando “took advantage of his role as a private banker, and a trusted fiduciary” and “exploited a woman in her early 90s who was living a happy and somewhat modest life.”

District Attorney Cyrus Vance added, “Financial abuse of senior citizens is the most common form of elder abuse,” and said the Manhattan District Attorney Elder Abuse Unit handles about 700 similar cases each year.

As contemptible as the Lewando case sounds, elder abuse has stretched beyond financial limits nationwide.

In June 2012, a group of 12- and 13-year-old children were videoed heaping verbal abuse on their 68-year-old bus monitor and in November 2012, two San Diego caregivers were caught on tape sexually abusing a 98-year-old woman.

Do you believe punishments for elder abuse should be more severe?

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]