'I'm very angry': Man says couple charged with theft took advantage of his elderly brother
After Clackamas County deputies accused a couple of stealing from an elderly neighbor, the alleged victim's brother said he's felt frustrated and powerless.
"I'm very angry, very angry," Van Faulk told KATU on Wednesday, saying his 73-year-old brother, Wayne, has lived on a farm his parents owned near Oregon City all his life.
"He's developmentally disabled and he's now been diagnosed with dementia as well," Van said. "He's been that way ever since he was born."
Now Wayne's next door neighbors, Jack Dunn, 43, and Rosemarie Henley, 49, are accused of fleecing him.
Henley told a KATU reporter that she and Dunn, her husband, did nothing wrong. She blamed another member of Wayne and Van's family, though that person is not charged with a crime.
"That is not correct at all," Van explained. "She's just trying to get the guilty off of her."
Van said his parents died about 17 years ago leaving the family concerned about Wayne.
"The problem there was that there was really no one who could take care of him as well as our oldest brother," Van said.
He said his oldest brother lived in Eugene and allowed neighbors to watch out for Wayne.
"Part of Wayne's mental problem is he is too prone to believe anything that he's told," Van said, "even though his siblings would tell Wayne, 'Wayne, you gotta watch out for it, blah, blah, blah.'"
Deputies said Wayne gave Dunn and Henley power of attorney in mid-2015.
They said the pair spent tens of thousands of dollars of Wayne's funds on things for themselves.
"They took advantage of him because they realized this Wayne guy, well, he has a lot of money that's available to take care of him," Van explained, "both Social Security as well as the trust that was set up, the sale of the property and those kinds of things."
Van said Dunn and Henley isolated Wayne, filing multiple restraining orders against him and other family members.
Investigators said an attorney from the Faulk family trust asked sheriff’s detectives and Adult Protective Services to look into how Faulk’s money was being handled.
The suspects each posted $4,000 bail and got out of jail the day after their arrests on Nov. 20.
They're due back in court in early January.
Oregon's Department of Human Services (DHS) says financial exploitation of the elderly has "skyrocketed" in recent years.
From 2014 to 2015 alone the agency says the state saw a nearly 20 percent increase in allegations to 4,533 cases. DHS says 46 percent of the victims were abused by a family member with an average amount of $24,915 lost by victims. The estimated cost of abuse to Medicaid and other government-funded programs in Oregon in a single year is close to $2 million. An agency news release says, "Those are staggering numbers."