TEMECULA: Bank employee accused of defrauding elderly woman (CA)

A Murrieta man was arrested Thursday, May 2, on suspicion of defrauding an elderly woman he met while working at a bank, authorities said.

Don Leon Foster, 35, was arrested at his current workplace in San Diego County, Riverside County sheriff’s officials said in a news release.

Sheriff’s officials said Foster took advantage of the woman — who recently died — while he was working at a bank in Temecula, defrauding her of “a large sum of money.”

Investigators did not disclose the amount of money taken. But the bail in such cases typically reflects the amount of money believed to have been stolen. Foster’s bail is set at $183,000, jail records show.

After arresting Foster on University Drive in Vista, investigators also served a search warrant Thursday evening at Foster’s home in the Mapleton area of Murrieta.

He was booked into the Southwest Detention Center in French Valley on suspicion of financial elder abuse, sheriff’s officials said.

A case to transfer conservatorship of the woman and her estate from Foster to a public guardian was filed in Riverside County probate court in November, court records show.

Foster contested the case, saying in court records that he was a legitimate caretaker. He said he met the woman in 2007 while working at Wachovia Bank. He said they became friends and she opened accounts there. He and his family began to spend time with the woman, who had no close relatives, and helped take care of her, Foster said. The friendship continued when he left Wachovia in 2009 and took a job at U.S. Bank, he said.

That same year, the woman signed a will leaving her estate to “my good friend, Don Leon Foster” and gave him power of attorney.

When a court-appointed lawyer spoke with woman at her residential care facility in November, she was by then 88 years old, in declining health and suffering from dementia. She was very confused, the lawyer wrote in court records, and was unable to recall who Foster was.


TEMECULA: Bank employee accused of defrauding elderly woman
Sarah Burge
May 3, 2013
The Press-Enterprise