Owatonna woman charged with exploiting $10K from elderly Wasecan - Waseca MN: News

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Owatonna woman charged with exploiting $10K from elderly Wasecan

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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014 10:15 am | Updated: 6:01 pm, Thu Jan 30, 2014.

{span class=”paragraph-0”}CORRECTION: This story has been modified to correctly state the hometown of Michelle Joslyn.{/span}Police say an Owatonna woman is responsible for stealing $10,250 and then attempting to take another $13,000 from an elderly woman she’d befriended.

Michelle Rae Joslyn, 47, was charged with four counts of felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult after withdrawing sums of cash from the victim’s checking and savings accounts on four different occasions, totaling $10,250.

On July 21, 2011, the Waseca Police Department received a report of possible exploitation of a vulnerable adult, according to a criminal complaint filed this month in Waseca County District Court.

The complaint said that the victim’s husband had died many years ago and had no children living nearby. Joslyn met the victim through her job as a volunteer for a company that makes “check-in” calls to the elderly.

On July 11, 2011, Joslyn reportedly went with the victim to a local Waseca bank and Joslyn was added as a cosigner to the victim’s checking and savings accounts. That same day, Joslyn allegedly wrote a check to herself on the victim’s account in the amount of $800.

Within the next 10 days, Joslyn wrote another check and made two withdrawals from the victim’s account totaling $9,450.

The complaint said that Joslyn also attempted to cash a check in the amount of $13,000, but the victim’s bank refused to honor the check.

When police asked Joslyn about the $13,000 cash attempt, Joslyn replied, “She (the victim) has a right to gift out $13,000 a year,” the complaint said.

Joslyn also said the $4,800 withdrawal was payment for providing elderly care duties. But the victim told police that she does her own cooking, cleaning and shopping and that “no one was taking care of her.”

The victim also told authorities that she never let Joslyn handle her bank accounts and had no idea Joslyn had been withdrawing money and writing checks in her name, the complaint said.

At the same time, Joslyn allegedly changed the victim’s will and obtained power of attorney over the victim.

According to the complaint, the victim told police that she “can’t hardly believe that person would do those things to me.”

The maximum sentence for financially exploiting a vulnerable adult is 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine or both. Sentences are dependent on several factors, including a defendant’s criminal history and a pre-trial report.

Joslyn initial court appearance is set for Jan. 28.

Reach reporter Christen Furlong at 507-857-5451. Follow her on Twitter @WCNchristen.

© 2014 Southernminn.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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