PD: Bogus caregiver tricked Glendale grandfather out of $164K

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According to court records, Theresa Stevens pretended to be the Glendale grandfather's caregiver and close friend and then methodically tricked him into giving her more than $164,000. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) According to court records, Theresa Stevens pretended to be the Glendale grandfather's caregiver and close friend and then methodically tricked him into giving her more than $164,000. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A bogus caregiver is behind bars, accused of cheating a Valley grandfather out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Tim Uzzanti said that his 92-year-old grandfather was always a bit frugal and didn't spend much money. But all that changed when he met Theresa Stevens, 42, a few months ago.

"Taking advantage of the young and taking advantage of the elderly, it's almost equivalent," said Uzzanti. "As they get older, they're defenseless."

According to court records, Stevens pretended to be the Glendale grandfather's caregiver and close friend and then methodically tricked him into giving her more than $164,000.

Stevens reportedly fired Uzzanti's original caregiver, then took over his home, car and finances.
    
On numerous occasions, Stevens had him take out large sums of money from ATMs and sign large checks, the court papers indicated.

"In the last month, it was maybe $60,000 to $70,000, so as time was going by, she was getting more bold," said Uzzanti. "It's very fortunate to have come back from working, and see what was going on."

Stevens was arrested and charged with fraud and is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Robbin Coulon, who works for the Area Agency on Aging, said that fraud targeting the elderly is much more common than people think.

"Some of the warning signs are people who are isolated, maybe in frail health, who have a limited circle of friends," said Coulon. "They just befriend or trust the wrong person."

Coulon said there are things family members can do to protect older adults.

  • Check in on older adults more often.
  • Look over their finances on a regular basis.
  • Have seniors consult with a trusted person before giving out money or financial information.
  • Create a power of attorney and health care directive.


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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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