By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A 43-year-old Atmore man is behind bars after an investigation that began in February led to the determination that he had been committing financial exploiting of an elderly person through her bank account.
The investigation began February 10, according to Atmore Police Department reports, when one of the victim’s family members reported that someone was apparently taking financial advantage of his relative.
The family member identified the suspect as Anthony Williams.
An APD investigator and the family member reviewed the victim’s bank statements and “noticed activity on the account that appeared suspicious and was out of character for the victim.”
An arrest warrant was obtained, and Williams was taken into custody. He was freed on bond but the case was presented to the grand jury, he was indicted, and he was placed under arrest again May 22.
The charge, initially a misdemeanor, was upgraded to a first-degree felony when more evidence was presented to the grand jury in reference to more suspicious activity within the victims checking account that brought the total dollar value of the exploitation to more than $2,500.
First-degree financial exploitation of the elderly is defined as “the use of deception, intimidation, undue influence, force or threat of force to obtain or exert unauthorized control over an elderly person’s property with the intent to deprive the elderly person of his / her property.”
An employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division reported that Williams remained in the facility late Monday, May 30, under a $50,000 bond.