The 96-year-old man died in a University Place nursing home with no money. Authorities say it’s because his niece siphoned more than $400,000 from his bank accounts and stopped paying for his care.
That was back in 2010. This morning, Betsey Cammon pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of theft. She was ordered jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Cammon, 54, was appointed power-of-attorney over her uncle’s estate in 1998 but didn’t resume an active role until 2009, when her uncle was placed in a nursing home because he was suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
By that time, Pierce County prosecutors contend she had already withdrawn nearly $200,000 from her uncle’s bank accounts.
Cammons allegedly took more than $423,999 from one of her uncle’s account and gifted $49,450 to a friend. She is also accused of paying thousands in property taxes for two houses owned by herself and her longtime boyfriend.
“She depleted his assets to a point where he may not have had enough money for his own care,” prosecuting attorney Erika Nohavec said. “There was a point when he had $51,000 in arrears and they had to cash out other investments to cover that.”
After Cammon didn’t pay for her uncle’s nursing home bill, family members took her to court and a court-appointed guardian took over the uncle’s estate. When a family member confronted her about the financial discrepancies after her uncle’s death in September 2010, she allegedly promised to explain but never did.
“According to family members, Betsey claims that an unknown person was threatening and extorting her to get her to give them this money,” charging papers state.