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Caretaker steals $21,000 from an elderly man

Laramie County District Court charged a Wyoming woman with stealing over $21,000 from an elderly man. 

Elizabeth Lutz was taking care of an elderly man who was diagnosed with dementia. Robert Laughlin had been under her care since the death of his wife in 2012. For the past 5 years, Lutz had been living with the man and helping him with daily tasks like grocery shopping and other house chores. In exchange, she received room and board.

In July of 2016, Lutz told Dori Hauser, Laughlin's niece, that he has signed three of his vehicles over to Lutz. She added that she had been promised the gift years ago. Two weeks later, Hauser told Lutz that she would be visiting them in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to discuss budgeting and finances. However, when she approached the house, she saw Lutz driving away in Laughlin's Pontiac. 

The conversation didn't take place since Lutz did not return that day. On August 25 of the same year, Hauser accessed her uncle's bank account and found transactions with large money transfers to Walmart, cash-backs, and payments to Lutz's dentist. 

Finally, on December 7, 2016, Hauser went to the police with a suspicion that Lutz's was taking advantage of her uncle's condition and stealing money from him. Later that month, the police reviewed the bank account and found the following questionable transactions:

  • 10 Walmart transactions worth $6,095
  • 44 cashback transactions worth $1,980
  • 3 payments to Lutz's dentist, worth around $2,000

Although Lutz admitted to the dentist transactions and cash backs, she pleaded not guilty. Her trial will take place during the week of March 19. In case the court finds her guilty, Lutz may be facing a 10-year sentence and a $10,000 fine.