110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Joe Crews
posted Dec 3, 2013 - 5:17:33pm
A Deltona woman was arrested Dec. 2 and charged with the exploitation of an 86-year-old man, a Sheriff’s spokesman announced.
Teresa Stief, 46, is accused of taking advantage of the victim’s faulty memory for several months, stealing the man’s credit cards and using them for personal purchases (mostly gift cards, which she sold for cash, or gasoline and cigarettes) and convincing him to revoke a son’s power-of-attorney, said spokesman Brandon Haught.
For about a week, Stief and her husband even lived with the man in the man’s home, Haught said. But the victim’s children became concerned about what was happening and forced the pair to move out.
The purported scheme began to unravel Nov. 21, when Sheriff’s investigators were inspecting a cash-for-cards business in Deltona. As they dug deeper, the investigators discovered Stief had used one of the victim’s credit cards to make nearly $14,000 in purchases, and another to run up a tab of more than $7,000. In addition, Stief opened a department store credit card account in the victim’s name without his knowledge, and that balance was about $200, Haught said.
Anytime a store clerk questioned why the victim’s name was on the credit card, Stief would claim he was her grandfather and was sick at home, Haught said.
After several days of investigative work, detectives arrested Stief and charged her with exploitation of the elderly, dealing in stolen property and using the identification of another without consent. However, the investigation continues and additional charges are possible, Haught said.
Stief was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail, where she remained in custody Dec. 3.
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