CLEVELAND– The couple accused of stealing more than $800,000 from an elderly Rocky River man appeared in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Wednesday morning
Lori Smith, 54, and Patrick Smith, 53, are charged with theft, identity fraud and forgery. They pleaded not guilty and bond was set at $5,000 each.
The judge ordered the Smiths not to have any contact with the victim.
The investigation started in September when a nursing home administrator contacted the Rocky River Police Department. The employee said it appeared the family of a 94-year-old resident was taking money out of his account and not paying his bills.
The victim’s estate was depleted down to $4.94.
Lori Smith is the niece of the victim’s wife. Police said she and her husband were made powers-of-attorney of the man’s will in 2015 after his wife died.
Between February 2015 and September 2018, the couple spent $47,000 on Amazon, $25,000 at Lowe’s and $25,000 at Costco, according to investigators. The Smiths are also accused of using the victim’s money to buy Browns season tickets, tickets to the 2015 NBA Finals, a car, a camping trailer and a boat.