A 75-year-old Ocala woman was arrested after depositing $450,000 from a male victim’s checking account into her own personal account.
On Monday, December 20, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy was contacted by a relative of the victim in reference to exploitation of an elderly man.
The relative told the deputy that the victim was recovering from a brain injury at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital. Due to the injury, the victim’s mental capacity was altered and the relative had durable power of attorney over the victim.
The relative stated that the victim’s live-in girlfriend, Linda Eleanor Kelly, had called and stated that she no longer wished to be in a relationship with the victim and did not want to care for him anymore.
During that conversation, Kelly told the relative that she wrote herself a check from the victim’s account in the amount of $450,000 and deposited those funds into her personal account. She stated that she transferred half of those funds into a “safe secure location” because she felt she was entitled to half of the victim’s money.
On Wednesday, December 22 at around 8:30 a.m., the deputy visited the victim at the hospital. The victim told the deputy that he recalled giving Kelly a signed blank check for her to remove money for groceries and household bills while he was in the hospital.
The victim stated that he can only write six checks a month which is why he gave Kelly one check to take enough money to cover those costs. He told the deputy that he did not give her permission to “drain” his bank account.
A copy of the check was provided to the deputy. The check was written on Saturday, November 13 in the amount of $450,000, and it was signed by the victim.
On Wednesday, December 29, the deputy interviewed Kelly over the phone. She mentioned that she had been in a relationship with the victim for 18 years.
Kelly stated that she was given the blank check and the victim gave her permission to take all of the money from the account if she needed it.
She deposited the money into her personal account and claimed that she told the victim that half of the funds were still his.
According to the MCSO report, Kelly stated that she was “paranoid” that the government would take all of the money out of his account for medical expenses which is why she moved the funds into her account.
Kelly told the deputy that the victim “deserved to give her that money” because he had been “building up a bank account with a huge amount of money in it” while they were living together. She claimed to have paid all the bills while looking after him and stated that the victim owed her the money after she took care of everything for so many years.
Kelly was arrested on Monday at around 1:30 p.m. and was transported to Marion County Jail. She was released on $10,000 bond and is facing a felony charge for exploitation of the elderly.
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.