Chief Seth C. DiSanto
222 Main St.
Newport VT 05855
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018
News Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Newport Police Charge Man in $48,000 Fraud Case
NEWPORT, VERMONT — Chief Seth DiSanto reports that the Newport Police Department has charged a man with allegedly stealing more than $48,000 from an elderly woman over a period of four years after gaining power of attorney of her affairs.
ERIC BRIGHAM, AGE 52, of WILLIAMSTOWN, was charged with one count of Financial Exploitation. On Dec. 5, he was issued a summons to appear in Orleans District Court on Jan. 15.
On Oct. 29, a private investigator working for an 84-year-old woman notified police that her relative, BRIGHAM, had been taking advantage of her by abusing his power of attorney.
An investigation was launched and police discovered that BRIGHAM had been given power of attorney of the woman’s affairs in June 2014. In December of 2014, BRIGHAM allegedly began writing checks out of the victim’s account without her permission and in February 2015, he obtained checks that had both his name and the victim’s name on them under her account.
Through the subsequent investigation, reviewing bank statements and checks written out by BRIGHAM, police discovered that he used checks and a debit card to withdraw thousands of dollars in funds from the victim’s bank accounts on a regular basis over four years.
With the money, he allegedly purchased an all-terrain vehicle trailer, an enclosed trailer, custom picture frames, furniture and had work done on his Audi sedan. In numerous other instances he wrote out checks to himself for cash or wrote them out under the victim’s name, but rarely gave the victim any of her own money and rarely visited her in the nursing home.
It was also determined that after the victim had moved from her home into the nursing home, BRIGHAM either sold or threw out nearly all of her personal belongings and possessions, rather than putting them in storage and kept the money for himself.
In total, BRIGHAM is believed to have stolen $48,149.11 from the victim and left her with several delinquent credit card bills and more than $20,000 in debt to her nursing home.
“I want to credit Officer Nicholas Rivers who investigated this complex case and was able to determine the extent of Mr. Brigham’s alleged fraud and deceit against his own relative,” Chief DiSanto said. “Fortunately, Officer Rivers was able to follow the paper trail left by the suspect which gave us the evidence we needed to charge him.”
These are allegations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.