Thomasville Times Enterprise

December 28, 2013

Woman charged with exploiting elderly man

Patti Dozier

THOMASVILLE — An elderly Thomasville woman is charged with financial exploitation of the elderly involving an 86-year-old man.

Peggie Hunt, 72, 59 Brookwood Chase, took more than $75,000 from the man during a two-year period, said Lt. Wade Glover, Thomasville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division commander.

Glover said Hunt was hired more than three years ago as a caretaker for the man.

“She was awarded power of attorney by the family,” the commander explained, adding that Hunt paid the victim’s bills and wrote his checks.

“She would hire other people to be there with him when she could not be there,” Glover said.

The officer said Hunt paid herself more than the agreed-upon amount. “And she had been doing it for the last two years,” Glover said.

Detectives obtained the victim’s bank and other financial records, which showed the suspect paid herself amounts more than the salary agreed upon, Glover said

“This was brought to our attention by a family member of the victim,” he said.

The victim’s daughter, who lives in the north, realized during visits that her father’s money was missing and contacted police.

Glover said a new Georgia law gives law enforcement agencies more leverage in cases where the elderly are believed to have been taken advantage of.

“We see more and more of the elderly being abused and more so financially,” he explained. The situation, Glover said, is proliferating locally and nationwide.

Glover anticipates more similar situations after Southwestern State Hospital closes Jan. 1. He said care previously provided by the state will now be done by the private sector.

“People rely on other people to take care of them and handle their finances,” the commander said.

Hunt was released from the Thomas County Jail on a $2,100 bond.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.