Prescott woman accused of defrauding 74-year-old with dementia

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Deborah Verna By Jennifer Thomas Deborah Verna By Jennifer Thomas

PRESCOTT, Ariz. – A Prescott woman was arrested Monday for an alleged fraud scheme involving a 74-year-old woman with dementia.

Prescott police officers arrested Deborah Verna, 61, on a warrant for felony theft in excess of $100,000, fraud schemes and misuse of power of attorney.

In September, police were alerted to the possible fraud scheme after the victim was approximately $20,000 behind in payments to her care facility.

The victim was contacted and did not know where any of her assets or possessions were, according to Lt. Ken Morley.

The investigation revealed that Verna had sold the victim's residence in a private sale to Verna's relative at a cost well under market value. Morley said Verna then auctioned the majority of the victim's possessions, signed the woman's vehicle over to herself and took control of her assets.

Investigators also learned that Verna had lost $100,000 gambling at several Arizona casinos.

Morley said some of the victim's property was located inside Verna's home in Williamson Valley Ranch.

Verna was booked into Yavapai County Jail and is being held on a $750,000 bond.

Anyone with addition information related to Verna is asked to call detectives at 928-777-1920.