St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara announces arrest of Port St. Lucie man for looting bank account of 97-year-old hospice-bound woman
St. Lucie County Sheriff's detectives have charged a Port St. Lucie man with stealing $20,000 from a 97-year-old hospice-bound St. Lucie County woman, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
"Jonathan Wainwright Mayfield, 66, of Port St. Lucie, was supposed to be acting on the victim's behalf in medical matters," Sheriff Mascara said. "He was never authorized to convert almost all of the victim's savings to his personal use. I want to thank the caring professionals at Treasure Coast Hospice for bringing this situation to light and for their assistance to our investigators."
Detectives arrested Mayfield Friday afternoon. He was booked into the St. Lucie County jail at 4:30 p.m. on charges of grand theft from a person 65 or older (a second-degree felony) and forgery (a third-degree felony), Sheriff Mascara said. He posted $15,000 bond through a bond agent and was released from custody just before 11 p.m. Friday.
For the past three years, the victim had authorized Mayfield to make medical decisions for her as the victim's "medical surrogate."
The victim was admitted to hospice in May. Because her condition improved, hospice staff members wanted to move her to an assisted living facility. This required information from the woman's financial records.
According to detectives, when hospice staff members asked Mayfield for the records, he said he had shredded them and denied having the records.
Hospice staff members obtained permission from the victim to obtain her financial records from Bank of America and noticed a $20,000 check cashed by Mayfield one day after the victim entered hospice in May. The address of the victim's bank accounts had been changed to Mayfield's address.
The victim said she had never authorized this withdrawal.
When hospice staff members questioned Mayfield, he said the victim had written the check as payment for his services to her. This was not credible because the victim had a live-in caregiver for the past three years, and that caregiver was not Mayfield, according to detectives.
Mayfield admitted spending some of the money for a plane ticket for his wife to fly to Russia, and spending the rest of the money on himself.
"If you are facing serious health issues, please make sure you are placing your trust for medical and financial issues in reputable and knowledgeable people," Sheriff Mascara said. "The last thing we want to discover is that someone in the final stages of life has been victimized by an untrustworthy person."
(Note: To respect the privacy of the victim, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office is not releasing her name.)
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Jonathan W. Mayfield, charged with grand theft and forgery
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