KISSIMMEE, Fla. (CBS/WKMG) Linda Littlefield is one trust lawyer who can't be trusted, authorities say.
The central Florida attorney who specializes in elder law is accused of defrauding a client for over $50,000 after the woman asked her to set up a trust fund for her Alzheimer's afflicted husband, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday.
Four months ago Osceola County deputies received a complaint from a woman claiming Littlefield made unauthorized charges on her late husband's credit card almost a year after he passed away, the Osceola Sheriff's Department told CBS affiliate WKMG.
The victim told detectives that she contacted Littlefield's firm in February 2006 to set up a trust fund to acquire Medicaid for her Alzheimer's stricken husband.
Several months later, she says, the trust was established with $40,000 and Littlefield told the family that she needed their credit cards and monthly bills in order to balance the trust, detectives told the station.
The woman's husband died in February 2009, but a year later she received a bill for one of his credit cards with a balance of almost $15,000. She claims that at the time she turned the card over it had a zero balance.
After a four-month investigation detectives say they determined that Littlefield made multiple online purchases totaling nearly $54,000, including office furniture and a trip to Cancun, which investigators confirmed Littlefield took in July 2008. Littlefield then used $7,900 from the trust account to pay some of the balances on the credit cards, investigators said.
On June 17, Littlefield met with detectives and told them the charges were made by mistake, even though the online transactions required Littlefield to use the name of the woman's husband, his address and security code.
Based on the information, detectives obtained a felony warrant and Littlefield and her attorney met detectives at the Sheriff's office, WKMG reported.
She was booked into the Osceola County Jail and is being held on $2,000 bail.