DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– A man is accused of stealing more than $50,000 from elderly family members in Dauphin County.
According to the charging documents, Joshua Wood, a 21-year-old resident of Lebanon County, allegedly stole $57,465.77 from his great-grandparents while residing with them in Derry Township over the course of several years.
The theft was reported in May when another family member discovered a substantial amount of money missing from the account that regularly received $4,000 a month in deposits. Police said that the account also was not regularly used.
Although Wood was not granted access to the account, it is believed that he obtained the necessary information through unauthorized access to mail and statements, according to the criminal complaint.
In instances where Wood accompanied his great-grandmother, who was noted to have dementia, to the bank, he would manipulate her into signing checks valued over $4,000 to himself. He would also conduct most of the interactions with bank personnel.
Additionally, Wood allegedly added himself as an authorized user on a credit card that remained dormant for approximately a year and proceeded to accrue charges surpassing $4,000.
Numerous fraudulent checks were forged by Wood, each bearing a different signature of one of the family members, police said. Further evidence in the form of a black wallet containing Wood’s identification, including his driver’s license, social security card, and multiple credit cards under his great-grandmother’s name, was discovered.
By examining bank records spanning several years, investigators were able to determine how much Wood stole, the complaint states.
Wood faces multiple felony charges of financial exploitation of an older adult or care dependant person, forgery, theft by deception and unauthorized use of an altered device.
Wood is currently out on unsecured bail set at $50,000 and is awaiting a preliminary hearing on Nov. 21.