Charges: Attorney-in-fact used elderly woman’s money for personal pleasure, expenses

A Mankato woman is accused of using her powers of attorney to swindle an elderly woman out of more than $5,000.

Margaret Elizabeth “Mitzi” Roberts, 64, was charged Tuesday with two felony counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult in Blue Earth County Court.

A criminal complaint says Roberts acted as attorney-in-fact for a vulnerable adult woman who is over age 90 and resides in an assisted living facility.

An investigation began in January after a witness reported overhearing Roberts admit she had paid her rent with the victim’s money.  The complaint says the victim, who has “severe cognitive impairment,” and is “hard of hearing,” did not respond to what Roberts was saying.

Investigation showed Roberts had used the victim’s checking account for purchases totaling $5,226.42 since June 2022, when the victim moved into assisted living. The complaint says purchases were made at a Mankato nail salon, a pet store, two grocery stores, and six different restaurants.  There was also a check marked “loan for rent,” and multiple ATM withdrawals.

A Power of Attorney form signed by the vulnerable adult indicated her attorney-in-fact was not authorized to make gifts to herself.

Roberts told investigators the funds were all gifts from the victim.



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