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Investigators say woman financially exploited relative with dementia

Crime Watch

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IDHAO FALLS — Investigators say an Idaho Falls woman stole thousands of dollars from a relative with dementia.

Jacqueline Sue Williams, 55, is charged with felony exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a charge that if convicted could hold up to 10 years in prison. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, Williams allegedly took thousands from the victim’s social security checks and COVID-19 stimulus money.

The Idaho Commission on Aging contacted the Idaho Falls Police Department in January 2021, noting Williams is responsible for the relative’s finances. The victim has dementia, lives in an assisted living facility and receives over $1,300 a month from the Social Security Administration.

In the probable cause, a detective notes the commission learned that in 2020, Williams got behind on the victim’s rent payments totaling $7,597. The victim also should have received a $600 COVID stimulus payment that he never got.

The assisted living facility confronted Williams about the missing money and recorded the phone call with the woman.

“All I can say is that I did spend his money,” Williams said, according to court documents.

They also confronted Williams about some of the transactions in the victim’s bank account that were for a Fort Hall casino.

“Some of them were, yes,” Williams said.

Willaims told detectives she ran into issues with the assisted living facility losing the checks so she spent the money. Williams also said she used the COVID stimulus money on groceries. In total Williams said she had about $2,000 of the family member’s money left, according to court documents.

Bonneville County prosecutors charged Williams on Jan. 7 and she was issued a summons to appear in court. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 2.

Although Williams is accused of a crime it does not necessarily mean she committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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