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I-Team: Man Arrested, Accused of Swindling Elderly Neighbor Out of Thousands

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LAKEWOOD -- Prosecutors charge that Matthew T. Arthurs bilked his elderly neighbor for more than two years and out of nearly $500,000, when all the older man appeared to want was a friend.

"He was lonely," says James Gutierrez, speaking of the 77-year-old victim, "and on top of that, his mental capacity has diminished over the years."   

In the end, prosecutors say the victim had written Arthurs, 50, 188 checks totaling more than $415,000.

All the checks cleared and were quickly turned into cash which, Arthurs allegedly spent.

Prosecutors won't release a motive for the alleged crime, other than calling it "pure greed."

The scheme was only stopped when the victim's bank became alarmed by the sheer number of checks written to Arthurs, and contacted the authorities.

Arthurs did not answer knocks at his door from the FOX 8 I-Team.

Prosecutor Gutierrez says Arthurs preyed on the victim's kindness, asking him for money for everything from rent to food.

Gutierrez says the victim does have some money left, thanks to pensions from both the government and Ford Motor Company, and a guardian has now been appointed to handle the man's finances.

He promises that Arthurs will be prosecuted "to the full extent of the law."

"When you pick on elderly individuals, we kind of take exception to that," Guiterrez says, "and so does the law."