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Pierce County woman charged with bilking $220,000 from dad

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
March 28, 2013 2:16 pm

Anna Sturtz denied stealing $220,000 from her father, then blamed his failing memory.

Family members didn’t buy her story and neither do Pierce County prosecutors, who charged the 60-year-old woman with eight counts of first-degree theft and six counts of second-degree theft. She has not yet been arraigned on the charges.

The immediate concern is whether Sturtz’s 81-year-old dad, who suffers from dementia and is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, has enough money to make do.

“His bank accounts are almost completely depleted,” according to charging papers. The victim’s “health is deteriorating and the family is concerned that he will not have enough money to pay his medical bills.”

The father lives on a fixed income, spending no more than $3,000 each month.

By the end of 2010, Sturtz’s dad had only $372 in his bank accounts. Prosecutors claim his money disappeared at “an alarming rate.”

The loss of funds was discovered by Sturtz’s brother, who takes care of their father. When the family confronted Sturtz about the missing money, she denied knowing anything about it even though she was listed on her dad’s accounts so she could pay his bills. She later claimed she borrowed $20,000 from dad, court records show.

Sturtz tried to make some amends.

She sent her father a $200 cashier’s check, indicating it was a loan payment. She also allegedly tried to get him to sign a promissory note and included a note saying it’s “unfortunate that my father… has no recollection of these requests” and asking him not to take action.

“During that meeting, Anna repeatedly apologized to (the victim) and cried hysterically saying she understood if he never wanted to see her again,” charging papers say.

Her father allegedly denies that he loaned her any money or gave her permission to withdraw money from his account.

Investigators checked Sturtz and her father’s bank accounts and determined that she began siphoning money in 2006, when her own finances were “desperate.”

She declined to speak to investigators.

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