The daughter and son-in-law of an 87-year-old female victim of elder abuse, have turned themselves in to the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon, and are in custody at the county jail in lieu of $100,000 bond, each. They are accused of operating a scheme to exploit and defraud the elderly couple of their life savings over the past six years.
Kevin Kelshaw told Historic City News that 54-year-old Teresa Evelyn Oakes and 55-year-old Robert Emmett Oakes Jr., both of 637 Vaill Point Road, were identified in the criminal investigation that began when the crimes were reported on January 28th of this year.
According to Financial Crimes Detective Henry Miller, over $282,000 has been stolen along with another $150,000 of property.
Miller says that he determined that the daughter and son-in-law convinced the victims to jointly purchase a home and guest house in St Johns County during July 2008. The family moved here from New Jersey, but Miller says, although the victim’s paid cash for their half of the purchase, the defendants obtained a mortgage in order to complete the transaction.
“The defendants convinced the victims to withhold their name from the deed to avoid
Probate upon their death and promised they could live at the residence for the rest of their life,” Miller determined. “Between 2009-2013, the victims were convinced to cash out all of their investments and to allow the defendants to invest them at a higher rate of return.”
Miller revealed to Historic City News reporters that his investigation determined that the Oakes’ allegedly have stolen all of the victims’ assets and continued to exploit them after they had secured Power of Attorney. Last year, the victim’s husband died and the daughter and son-in-law took the $40,000 death benefit, depositing the check into their joint bank account.
The victim became suspicious and told the Oakes’ that she wanted to resume her own personal banking. Oakes refused and responded by serving an eviction notice on her mother. When the victim realized what was going on, it was too late. Miller reported that the victim was left with no savings and only $115 in her checking account.