Perryville couple arrested for alleged identify theft, exploiting the elderly

Published: Oct. 7, 2015 at 4:18 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2015 at 7:23 PM CDT
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Wendy Farless (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Department)
Wendy Farless (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Department)
Terry Farless (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Department)
Terry Farless (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Department)

PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A Perryville couple has been arrested after allegedly exploiting an elderly person.

Authorities say Terry and Wendy Farless are accused of financial exploitation of the elderly, and identity theft.

Both are in jail on $15,000 cash bond.

According to the probable cause statement, at around 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, two people from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Senior Disability Services, reported financial exploitation of an elderly/disabled person to the Perry County Sheriff's Office.

They say the victim had given power of attorney to Wendy Farless on July 16, 2014 without allegedly having seen, heard from or had any contact with her for numerous years.

The department employees said the victim moved to the Perry Oaks Nursing Home around Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, and was discharged on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.

While in the nursing home, they say Farless was advised not to worry about taking care of the victim's financials due to him still being able to take care of them.

However, they say while the victim was in the nursing home, Farless allegedly used credit cards in the victim's name to buy numerous items, which the victim did not benefit from, nor did he give Farless permission to charge to the credit cards.

According to the probable cause statement, on Dec. 30, 2014, Wendy Farless withdrew $10,000 from the victim's financial account, which she allegedly did not have permission from the victim to do.

The court documents say the $10,000 was deposited into the victim's checking account and Farless allegedly used the money to make payments on the credit card accounts she was allegedly charging amounts to.

From Dec. 23, 2014 to Jan. 29, 2015, Wendy and Terry Farless allegedly spent about $10,184.86 at a Cape Girardeau casino.

Court documents say Wendy Farless used credit cards at the casino for 15 different transactions.

Wendy Farless allegedly transferred $8,876.99 using Western Union and $1,210 using Moneygram.

Due to the above transaction being completed online, court documents state that a credit card had to be used to complete the transaction.

Wendy and Terry Farless allegedly completed the transactions using the victim's credit cards, and both allegedly took some of money.

According to subpoenaed information received from Western Union and Moneygram, the majority of the transactions were completed and received by Wendy Farless.

The victim revoked the power of attorney for Wendy Farless on Feb. 6, 2015.

The victim's attorney stated he contacted Wendy Farless by telephone on Feb. 7, 2015 and advised her to bring property back that belonged to the victim. On Feb. 10, Wendy Farless returned the requested property and was officially advised that her power of attorney over the victim had been revoked.

After her power of attorney was revoked, Wendy Farless allegedly continued to use the victim's credit cards, checking account and savings account.

Wendy and Terry Farless allegedly spent about $21,494.77 using the credit cards.

According to the probable cause statement, Wendy Farless allegedly bought numerous different items with the victim's checking account and credit cards.

The victim's wife is also in a nursing home, and according to court documents, has been for some time.

According to the probable cause statement, the victim had completed a transaction for some property he sold and there were two checks from the sale of the property. Both checks were written out to the victim and his wife's joint revocable trust, which Wendy Farless did not have authority over.

Wendy Farless allegedly signed the victim's name twice to both checks. One check was in the amount of $151,425 and the other was for $65,679.51.

The probable cause states that Farless allegedly signed her name to the checks saying she had power of attorney.

The checks were issued on Jan. 28, 2015.

According to court documents, when Wendy Farless presented the checks to be cashed, U.S. Bank and the Bank of Missouri denied the checks due to the checks not being properly endorsed.

After a request, the victim was reissued new checks.

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