BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham man has been charged with milking his millionaire mother's savings so he could buy a new Porsche, a diamond ring, season tickets to a Seattle theater and a glitzy trip to Paris.
Charles David Dunn, 65, is accused of pilfering more than $110,000, all told, of his widowed mother's money.
Gisele Dunn is 92 years old and has Alzheimer's disease, according to court records. She was admitted to a home for her illness a couple of years ago. Her son was granted power of attorney to pay her bills when her health deteriorated.
Prosecutors alleged Charles Dunn abused that power last year:
In February, when he used his mom's debit card to buy two season tickets to the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle for himself and his wife, Charlene Osterman;
When he spent $1,144 of his mom's money, in a single payment in March, to get his dogs groomed;
When he bought his wife a diamond ring with a value estimated, in other court records, at $6,000;
When he plunked down $15,000 for a new Porsche in late April;
And when, over the course of several months, he shuffled $25,850 of his mom's savings into his wife's account.
Gisele Dunn's investment banker went to police in April 2012, after he found out Charles Dunn had sold his mother's home and deposited $228,000 into his own bank account, according to a restraining order filed by the Washington State Attorney General's Office.
Charles Dunn admitted to a detective that he used his mom's money to cover his wife's house payments, his stepdaughter's college tuition and a trip to Europe with Osterman, according to the charges. He wanted to take his mom with him to Paris, he insisted to the detective, but her mental health made that impossible.
He also said his mother was aware of a few expenditures, but not the $15,000 down payment for his wife's new Porsche, and not "some" other things, according to the charges. He told the detective he was going to start paying for the car himself.
Prosecutor David McEachran noted that Gisele Dunn and her late husband "had always been frugal with their money."
Charles Dunn has been frozen out of his mother's bank accounts since April. After a long investigation, he was charged last week with 11 counts of aggravated theft.
Osterman, who sometimes uses her husband's last name, has not been charged.
Reach CALEB HUTTON at email@example.com or call 715-2276.