A shocked woman has discovered her mother has scammed her husband of 60 years and left them over $100,000 in debt.
The woman took to Reddit to ask for legal advice, after being left stunned when she found out her mum had been forging signatures on documents, cashed in their life insurance and
Pawning off old jewellery.
She started her post by saying that her parents are elderly and she thought they were ‘financially comfortable’.
Her dad built his own business from scratch and her mother managed the household.
However, a few weeks ago her mother ended up in hospital with a broken hip and required surgery and it was up to her dad to open the mail in her absence.
“Dad realized that he is basically broke,” the woman wrote.
“Their bank account was overdrawn by a few thousand dollars, they had several credit cards with high balances, and their retirement investment accounts were almost empty.”
At first, they thought her mother must have bought into some scam, but they soon realised that she had been falsifying statements for their investment account.
“The forgery wasn’t particularly good but it showed a balance of over a million dollars, and that’s what Dad thought they had,” she said.
After digging further through the paperwork, they realised that she has been scamming them all since 1991.
“Additionally, we just found that she recently cashed in her and Dad’s life insurance policy,” the woman continued. “
“She forged Dad’s signature on those papers. She also recently pawned almost all of her jewelry. We don’t know the actual value of the jewelry but she received $17,000 from the pawn shop, so I’m sure that’s only a fraction of the actual value.
“We ran a background check and found out that they have at least $100,000 in credit card debt.”
She explained that after scouring through years of credit card statements, all of the purchases her mum made seem normal and they ‘aren’t sure exactly where all the money went’.
While she hasn’t confronted her mum about the spending yet, she said she suspects it’s ‘day trading’ because she ‘used to watch CNBC all day and keep meticulous notes about stocks’.
“Dad is heartbroken, but he still loves Mom. He just doesn’t know what to do. We are all in shock and never expected anything like this had been going on for such a long time,” she continued.
Her dad has now opened up his own bank account and while he owns land he could sell, the woman said they are ‘at a loss to move forward’.
“If we pressed charges against Mom, I don’t think we would be able to recover any of the lost money, but would the life insurance company be able to reinstate Dad’s policy if it was fraudulently closed? Any other advice?” she asked.
People commented saying they could probably recover the life insurance but speculated about whether or not her mum would go to jail.
“If she’s been doing this for 60+ years, she isn’t going to change. Best steps are to protect your father financially (he probably won’t want to end his marriage), and get her help ASAP,” one person said.
“Soon, you will need a lawyer to advise your father of what legally can be done. Is it bankrupcy? Sell the land? Do nothing until you know what happened and where the money went. Then get the proper legal advice. But while you mom is in the hospital, talk to a lawyer to advise on how to separate her from any and all financial matters,” another person said.
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