Area woman charged with financial exploitation
Authorities acting on a tip from a Rochester financial institution have brought charges against a Chatfield woman they say spent more than $100,000 of someone else's money.
Ashley Loraine Dotzenrod, 28, faces two counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and one count of theft by swindle, all felonies.
She's scheduled to appear Sept. 18 in Olmsted County District Court.
The investigation began Sept. 27, when police were told Dotzenrod had deposited about $50,000 in checks written on the alleged victim's account into her own checking account. The victim is described in the criminal complaint as having "significant difficulty in speech and motor movements," as well as having seizures, all the result of a stroke several years ago.
The man requires the assistance of others for basic needs, and has a power of attorney to assist in financial matters, the report says, classifying him as a functional vulnerable adult.
In January 2011, the man named Dotzenrod as her power of attorney; in May 2011, Dotzenrod opened a joint savings account with the man.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim's former power of attorney said the victim was "frugal" and was "aware of Dotzenrod's spending habits." The man set up the financial arrangement so if Dotzenrod was going to be paid, the man would have to write her the check. Since 2009, only one check has been written to Dotzenrod, the records show.
When investigators spoke to the man in October 2013, she said Dotzenrod "screwed me and stole my money."
Records obtained by law enforcement indicate Dotzenrod made 143 transactions involving the victim's bank account from January 2011 to October 2013, for a total of more than $92,000.
Prior to January 2012, a credit card in the man's name was paid in full every month, the complaint says. From January 2012 to October 2013, records showed Dotzenrod used the card 14 times, with purchases totaling about $11,800.
The man told investigators she hadn't given Dotzenrod consent to use the card.
The combined check and credit card activity totals $103,864.
If convicted, each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $100,000 fine, or both.