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Authorities: Michigan Lawyer Stole $100K From Woman With Alzheimer's Disease

PETOSKEY (WWJ/AP) - Authorities say 67-year-old northern Michigan man stole more than $100,000 from an elderly woman who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease while he was serving as a lawyer.

Michael Aho Kennedy, of Petoskey, was arraigned Monday in Emmet County District Court with embezzlement from a vulnerable adult and embezzlement by a trustee -- both 20-year felonies.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said their investigation began back in 2012 after the victim's family received an inquiry from the Internal Revenue Service pertaining to the Kennedy had selected for the victim's living trust.

It is believed that Kennedy's embezzlement began in 2006; however, due to the statute of limitations, investigators could only go back as far as 2009 into Kennedy's records.

The investigation found that Kennedy allegedly made a number of discrete transactions siphoning funds from the victim's trust, and made multiple deposits into his office checking account, officials said.

During this same period, the victim was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and later passed away in August of this year. Financial records indicate that the entire trust was drained, an amount in excess of $100,000.

"Scammers targeting our greatest generation can devastate our parents and grandparents who worked hard to provide for their families and grow their life savings," Schuette said in a statement. "This is theft, plain and simple, and I will not tolerate abuse of any kind against vulnerable seniors."

Kennedy was disbarred this March by the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board.

To report suspected financial abuse of a Michigan vulnerable adult, citizens should call the Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Hotline, 1-800-24-ABUSE.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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