Prison time for relatives’ looting of elderly Oregon woman’s estate

83-year-old victim watches as 2 relatives sent to prison
Associated Press
March 2, 2010
PORTLAND — An 83-year-old woman was in court to watch as two relatives who wiped out her savings and sold her home were sent to prison.

Court records indicate the relatives expected Evelyn Roth to die when she was diagnosed with a cancerous growth on her esophagus in February 2008. Instead, she made a remarkable recovery. Then she learned that a cousin and a niece, who had obtained power of attorney, had sold her Portland home and her car, pocketed the proceeds and emptied out her accounts. They even prepaid her funeral.

Roth’s cousin, Virginia Ann Kuehn, 66, and her oldest niece, Kathleen Sue Jingling, 53, pleaded no contest to seven counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, aggravated theft and first-degree theft.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge John Wittmayer sentenced each on Monday to a year and a day in prison, followed by five years probation. The extra day ensures they will serve their sentences in a state prison rather than a county jail.

He also ordered them to pay restitution, to avoid any future caregiving and to have no further contact with Roth.

“Seeing them put in handcuffs was the answer to my prayers,” Roth said afterward. “That was good. I felt my wish has been granted.”

Neither Kuehn nor Jingling said anything in court. Jingling did sign a check for $12,000, which was given to Roth.

They’ve paid back more than $145,000 of the estimated $325,000 that Roth lost, Deputy District Attorney Chuck Mickley said.

Roth and her friends want others to know there are resources to combat such crimes.

In this case, Irma Mitchell-Phillips, a Multnomah County adult protective services investigator, worked closely with Portland police Officer Deanna Wesson, who specializes in elder abuse, and Mickley, a Multnomah County prosecutor who was named late last year to focus on financial elder abuse crimes.

“A lot of times, a lot of elderly and vulnerable people think their family is not going to do them wrong, but that’s not the case. We see family involved over and over again,” said Mitchell-Phillips, who attended Monday’s sentencing.

Roth says she never got an apology.

“They never talked to me,” she said. “I hope they learned their lesson.”

She says she is still eager to recover some of her most prized possessions — her Bibles, framed wedding pictures, silverware, her full rose China set, hand-painted lamps and several small pieces of furniture.

Roth credited Jeanine Boldt-Ginn, the daughter of one of Roth’s close friends, and her husband, Jim Ginn, for helping figure out what happened and seeking help.

  • small potatoes

    who was your lawyer, please.
    my mom is being held against her will and drugged down while son lives high and gives to his daughters.

    (203) 981-7007

    we are in Washington County kangaroo court with Judge Cobb. what monsterous things are passed along there, as ‘ok’.