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Fla. man charged with stealing nearly $500k from NH woman in her 90s

By KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent

June 20. 2018 9:45PM




DOVER — A 55-year-old Florida man has been indicted on charges he stole nearly $500,000 from a Rochester woman who died at the age of 98.

Michael R. Smith, of Avon Park, Fla., is facing multiple felonies and the possibility of enhanced punishment for allegedly taking $488,000 from a woman only identified as M.K., according to the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse and Exploitation Unit in Concord,

Smith also allegedly tried to steal another $1.1 million from the woman.

The charges do not explain how Smith knew the woman or came to have access to her financial records.

According to Strafford County Superior Court records, between Oct. 24 and Nov. 18, 2017, Smith allegedly transferred money from M.K.’s Northeast Credit Union accounts into his personal account and had multiple checks issued to himself in Rochester.

Between Oct. 24 and Nov. 30, 2017, Smith allegedly made multiple purchases and ATM withdrawals from M.K’s Citizen’s Bank accounts in Rochester.

Prior to that, Smith allegedly provided Holy Rosary Credit Union in Rochester with a forged request to be added to M.K.’s accounts. That allegedly happened sometime between Oct. 4 and Oct. 24, 2017.

During the same timeframe, Smith provided Independence Financial Advisors with a forged letter requesting he be added to two of M.K.’s Golden Rule Insurance annuity accounts.

The thefts allegedly began in Rochester between Sept. 7 and Sept. 28 in 2017, when he provided Voya Financial with forged documents relating to M.K.

According to a press release by the Attorney General’s Office, all the charges against Smith are each punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Smith should also qualify for enhanced penalties for intending to take advantage of M.K.’s age and a physical or mental condition impairing her ability to manage her financial affairs, the state asserts.

Assistant Attorney General Brandon Garod said Wednesday that Smith was directly indicted, meaning he was not arrested by police prior to a grand jury indictment.

Smith is not currently being held in jail. Garod said he did not know if Smith is presently in New Hampshire or Florida.

Smith is scheduled to be arraigned June 28 at Strafford County Superior Court.


General News Courts Rochester Dover


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