This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A Sandy woman has been accused of stealing more than a hundred thousand dollars from her mom, who suffers from dementia.
Dorothy Jean Henderson, 65, was charged in 3rd District Court Thursday with exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a second-degree felony.
On Dec. 29, 2010, Henderson was appointed by the courts as a guardian and conservator over her 84-year-old mother's needs. The appointment gave Henderson the power under law to act on behalf of her mother to make medical, residential, financial, end of life and other decisions, according to court documents.
As soon as the paperwork was done, Henderson began taking out large sums of money from her mother's bank accounts. None of the money was spent in any way to benefit the mother, court records state.
A Salt Lake City police detective reviewed the mother's financial records and discovered that over nearly a year, Henderson had withdrawn about $143,000 from the accounts for herself or her children. Some of the accounts included money contributed by the mother's spouse throughout the couple's 62 years of marriage.
When police interviewed Henderson, she said she "borrowed" about $43,600 from her mother since losing her job in April 2011. Even though Henderson was told by her attorney that these funds were not for her use, but for her mother's well-being, she didn't see the problem, "because she always borrowed money from her mother," according to the charges. Henderson also admitted to "borrowing" and lending about $10,200 from the accounts to her children, court records state. She admitted that the money was not spent or used to benefit her mother.
However, she provided documentation to police showing she invested about $100,000 with an investment company and a life insurance company on her mother's behalf, according to court records.
Henderson said her mother gave her permission to take the money.
In a court document, a statement of a medical doctor caring for the mother said she has not been capable of managing her financial affairs for the past five or more years because of an Alzheimer's-related type of dementia.