Financial Abuse – Anna Bullinger of Florida was never licensed as a caregiver, and according to investigators has a criminal history that includes theft and violation of probation, according to Spectrum News 9’s recent article entitled “Investigators: Sarasota Woman Stole More Than $1M From 94-Year-Old Client.”
Authorities said that since 2015, Bullinger has been cashing checks every two weeks, all signed by Nardone.
In total, Bullinger collected about $1.1 million from Nardone’s trust.
“[Nardone] actually was pretty up to date with her accounts and stuff, so she didn’t really let people see her accounts,” said Detective Carlos Verdoni.
Detectives say that Bullinger’s attention to detail with Nardone’s accounts is how she was able to escape detection for so long.
However, red flags went up when she cashed a check for a very large amount from Nardone the day after the woman’s death.
“She wrote it for $90,000, which is kind of concerning,” Verdoni explained. “It was written as a gift and she placed it in her daughter’s bank account.”
Until her death, Nardone had the capacity to write checks and signed them herself to pay her own bills. Police are still not sure how Bullinger was able to persuade Nardone to sign all the checks.
Sarasota detectives called the case unusual, even thought there are numerus elder exploitation cases in Florida.
However, there are actions people can take, if they think someone is taking advantage of their loved ones.
The state has a hotline, and if called, an investigator will go and see if there’s a high-risk factor of exploitation. If there is, the case will be referred to law enforcement for further investigation.
“These people have worked all their lives. They’ve had their money saved up and suddenly it’s gone,” Verdoni added.
Bullinger was charged with one count of felony elder exploitation.
She was released from jail, after posting a $50,000 bond.
Reference: Spectrum News 9 (Jan. 3, 2020) “Investigators: Sarasota Woman Stole More Than $1M From 94-Year-Old Client”
Suggested Key Terms: Elder Law Attorney, Elder Abuse, Financial Abuse, Trust