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Woman charged with financial exploitation

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A Byron woman accused of spending more than $200,000 of someone else's money has been charged with a pair of felonies.

Marianne Foreman Goldston, 57, also known as Sissi Goldston, made her first appearance Thursday in Olmsted County District Court, where she's been charged with two counts of felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

She was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court Oct. 11.

Goldston was designated attorney-in-fact in 2014 and given power of attorney for a man who was unable to provide care for himself; the contracts explicitly stated Goldston was not authorized to make gifts to herself, the complaint says.

An investigator learned the victim needed in-home care, assisted living facilities or nursing homes from 2010 until his death in 2017.

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He received an income of about $8,000 per month from pensions and social security, and maintained two checking accounts. While living in the out-of-home facilities, he allegedly wasn't given access to his personal funds.

In 2014, the man's home was sold for more than $400,000; after expenses, he received more than $252,000.

Within a few weeks, a house was purchased in Byron under the victim's name, court documents say, which Goldston used as her home.

The investigator obtained documents that indicated a payment of nearly $2,000 was deducted automatically each month from the man's bank account to pay for the monthly mortgage on that house.

Goldston's power of attorney was revoked in December.

From July 15, 2014, through Dec. 8, bank records show Goldston "repeatedly and continuously made purchases on behalf of herself, to benefit herself," the court papers say, including purchases of horse gear, items online and house-related expenses.

In that time, the amount spent from the victim's two checking accounts totaled $230,218.70; the checks appeared to be signed by Goldston, using the victim's name, the reports say.

In that same time, the man's bills at the various nursing homes and assisted living facilities went unpaid, the complaint says, for a total of $77,281.15.

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He was allegedly evicted from several of the facilities for lack of payment.

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