Crime

He spent $1 million on plane tickets and debt. Here's where police say he got the cash

McClatchy

A man was arrested last week for allegedly stealing nearly $1 million from his 93-year-old mother who is suffering from dementia.

William Edward Blackmore, 71, is facing nine counts of first-degree theft and one count of first-degree theft from a vulnerable adult, according to charging documents filed Monday in Whatcom County Superior Court.

Blackmore was released from jail Friday on $20,000 bond. His arraignment it set for 9 a.m. April 20.

In November 2016, Adult Protective Services received the report of possible financial exploitation of a Bellingham woman with dementia. A social worker attempted to contact the woman several times, until it was discovered the woman was in an assisted living facility at the time.

The woman underwent a mini mental status exam, where she scored 10 out of 30. Due to her mental status, her son, Blackmore, was appointed the woman’s power of attorney in December 2013.

The assisted living facility had tried to reach Blackmore several times, because his mother needed to be transferred to a secure dementia unit, but Blackmore failed to return phone calls or show up for scheduled meetings, causing the woman to remain “in an inappropriate and unsafe setting for eight months,” according to court records.

The social worker reviewed the woman’s financial records, which included bank accounts with Chase, People’s Bank, Washington Federal and UBS (United Bank of Switzerland). The woman’s UBS account alone was said to have more than $1 million in it.

During the social worker’s investigation, she asked Blackmore for financial records relating to his mother’s bank accounts, and each time Blackmore failed to have the accounting records by the deadline, records state. As of February, Blackmore still had not provided an accounting of the woman’s finances.

It was determined that Blackmore had withdrawn more than $950,000 from his mother’s accounts and used the money for himself, rather than using the money for his mother or her care, records state.

Blackmore instead spent the money on plane tickets to Santa Barbara, Calif. where he has a house, property tax payments and paying off mortgage debt on the home, records state.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt
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