Rocky River Police: Couple scams $800,000 from a 94-year-old Ohio man

Rocky River Police: Couple scams $800,000 from a 94-year-old Ohio man

ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - One Rocky River couple is accused of scamming a family member out of $800,000.

The alleged couple is Patrick and Laurie Smith.

The victim, a 94-year-old military veteran, is Laurie Smith’s uncle through marriage.

Police: Couple scams $800,000 from a 94-year-old man

After the victim’s wife passed, he went to a nursing home and left the Smiths a house in Rocky River

It was after the nursing home move that Rocky River Police saw warning flags.

They noticed that the account had been drained and brought it to our attention. They called us back in September and that’s when we opened an investigation.
George Lichman, Rocky River Police

Police said the victim wanted the Smiths to have their dream home, but that didn’t include taking the funds in his savings, an account that had $800,000 and was dwindled down to $4.94.

“I feel bad about the whole situation there is a whole bunch of factors involved," said Patrick Smith.

Here is the breakdown of the finances, according to police.

  • The Smiths used $157,000 to renovate the home 
  • $47,000 in Amazon transactions
  • $25,000 at Costco 
  • $16,000 at Giant Eagle
  • $25,000 at Lowe’s Home Improvement 
  • $9,000 at QVC  
  • $34,000 in cash withdrawals.

Police also said the couple made a handful of luxurious purchases, including:

  • Season tickets for the Cleveland Browns
  • Tickets to the 2015 NBA Finals 
  • 2016 Eastern Conference Finals
  • A car, boat and camping trailer 

Nevertheless, Smith insisted they were not pilfering the uncles' account,

“If you want to portray it like we were helping ourselves to his money we we’re not," Smith insisted.

“I find it hard to believe that you can spend a life saving with that person’s blessing with 4.94 cents," Lichman said.

Patrick said they are no villains, and it is simply a misunderstanding.

The Smiths were indicted for theft, identity theft and forgery.

The nursing home is now working with veterans affairs and adult protective services to make sure the victim can stay there.

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