Three people appointed by courts to oversee the affairs of elderly clients were stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the victims, prosecutors alleged.
Gloria Byars, 60, of Aldan, Pennsylvania, Carlton Rembert, 66, of Hampton, Virginia, and Alesha Mitchell, 40, of Suffolk, Virginia, were all charged in federal court in connection to the scheme, prosecutors noted. The three suspects were all charged with conspiracy and bank fraud.
Rembert and Byars were also charged with five counts of wire fraud. Byars was also charged with one count of money laundering.
Between 2012 and 2018, Byars stole from dozens of incapacitated elderly clients while serving as their court-appointed guardian, prosecutors claimed. She worked as an office manage manager for a firm that was appointed to care for the clients.
She stole money from the victims’ bank accounts by writing unauthorized checks to companies she controlled or shell corporations that Rembert and Mitchell controlled.
Rembert and Mitchell opened bank accounts in the name of the shell companies and pretended to be medical billing companies, according to prosecutors. They deposited the stolen checks in the accounts and the three shared the money.
Byars is also accused of stealing vintage, South African gold coins from a patient’s safe deposit back. She also took more than $130,000 from that same person’s bank account, according to prosecutors. She is alleged to have taken about $750,000 from a retired federal employee’s Thrift Savings Plan.
Byars also managed assets for one person, whose heir asked for the money back after the client died, according to prosecutors. So, Byars took $122,000 from another client to repay the heir, prosecutors noted.
Each suspect faces decades in prison.