CORSICA, S.D. — A Corsica man has been arrested on three counts of theft by exploitation for spending more than $17,400 of his grandmother’s money.
David Stetson, 48, was charged with three Class 4 felonies and could spend up to 30 years in prison, if convicted. Stetson was named in a police affidavit as the power of attorney for his grandmother, who was being cared for in the Armour nursing home.
“The nursing home contacted (the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office) due to not receiving any payment for care since (the grandmother) had been placed with them,” the affidavit says. The Armour Nursing Home provided a billing statement for the grandmother, which as of Sept. 1, 2017, showed an outstanding balance of $11,104.88.
According to court documents, law enforcement interviewed Stetson in January. During that time, Stetson allegedly admitted to knowing he was not supposed to use the money for himself but yet he did.
“Stetson stated he was using Watt’s money to cover his own personal bills such as cable, house utilities, electrical, sewer and trash,” the affidavit says. “Stetson was asked if he knew it was wrong to spend (his grandmother’s) money on himself. Stetson stated, ‘Yeah, I guess I got so used to paying the bills with it.'”
Stetson was also asked whether he knew it was wrong to spend the money on himself even though he was his grandmother’s power of attorney and allegedly responded, “Yeah.”
A review of his grandmother’s bank account showed that between 2015 and March 2018, Stetson spent approximately $6,744.50 in 2015, $6,862.63 in 2016 and $13,856.42 in 2017 and 2018, according to court documents.
The affidavit, dated June 21, also states Stetson had other expenditures at a local grocer and other stores and made cash withdrawals.
Stetson’s preliminary hearing that was scheduled for July 12 was continued to Sept. 6. The order states “there is good cause for continuing the preliminary hearing beyond the 45-day requirement at the request of the defendant.”
The case is being investigated by the Office of Attorney General Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation and being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.