INDIANAPOLIS -- Investigators say the neighbor of an 89-year-old man gained his trust, and then gained access to his bank account and nearly emptied it.
"He had no idea that she was removing funds from his account," Cindy Oetjen with the Marion County Prosecutor's Office said.
Prosecutors say a woman at Crestwood South Apartments almost got away with stealing more than $50,000 from the man, who had no family and whose health is starting to decline.
"They had been friends and known each other, but when his caregivers went out of town, she took him to an attorney and made herself the power of attorney," Oetjen said.
Investigators say Maxine McDaniel, 57, immediately cut her neighbor off from his friends and started cutting herself checks from his bank account.
She even allegedly pawned his Masonic ring.
According to the probable cause affidavit, McDaniel started visiting ATMs as soon as she became power of attorney and withdrew the maximum amount almost every day from August until October to the tune of $50,465.
When the man's caregivers returned, they could not find him. He had a medical issue that left him in the hospital and his phone was cut off.
When they finally did reach him, they told investigators McDaniel refused to allow them to speak to their friend alone.
"It would appear from the facts that have been presented that she, in some way, planned this," Oetjen said.
McDaniel is now charged with felony theft and exploitation of an elderly adult.
If convicted, McDaniel could face up to eight years in prison. Prosecutors say they can try to file for restitution, but there is little hope of ever recovering the more than $50,000 that was lost in the case.