Police arrest two persons after fraud investigation

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group have charged a 77-year-old woman and 49-year-old male with fraud after executing search warrants at two Coorparoo residences.

Police will allege that from February 2018 until January 2019, the woman used an enduring power of attorney to illegally obtain approximately $2.86 million from an 85-year old woman.

Police commenced a protracted investigation in July 2019 after receiving information from the Office of Public Guardian and Public Trustee.

Police will allege, while acting as the victim’s enduring power of attorney, the 77-year-old woman made a series of withdrawals from the victim’s account, including depositing $297,000 into the co-accused’s bank account. It will be alleged the money was used for the offenders’ personal benefit.

Detective Acting Superintendent Vince Byrnes of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group urged the community to be vigilant to this type of offending.

“Misuse of an enduring power of attorney is a serious offence, and the alleged offending in this case could be considered a form of elder abuse and a grave abuse of trust,” Detective Acting Superintendent Vince Byrnes said.

“Our investigation and these arrests demonstrate the Queensland Police Service’s commitment to pursuing this type of offending and those responsible for the alleged exploitation of vulnerable members of our community.

“This investigation was assisted by concerned parties observing and reporting warning signs, and we would encourage members of the public to continue to report suspicious activity to police.

“It is also timely to remind community members of the importance of seeking independent legal and financial advice when considering the appointment of a power of attorney.”

The 77-year-old woman has been charged with two counts of fraud (dishonest application of property greater than $100,000. This person is appearing at the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.

The 49-year-old male has been charged with one count of fraud (dishonestly gain benefit greater than $100,000, two counts of possessing dangerous drugs and one count of possessing a utensil, He is next appearing at the Brisbane Magistrates Count on October 29.

For more information about the warning signs of elder abuse and how to get help, go to the Queensland Government online site https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/campaign/know-signs.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.