New Yorker with Power of Attorney Steals $260,000 from Victim
Legal issues can be difficult, especially when they involve loved ones. Having power of attorney by definition means that you have the authority to "act for another person in specified or all legal or financial matters", according to Oxford Languages.
When relatives start aging and have difficulty making decisions for themselves, power of attorney can be a great tool for younger generations to help. Sadly, some power of attorneys don't really have their loved ones best interests at heart and are only in it for themselves, and that's exactly what happened recently in Saratoga Springs.
Back in April, State Police claim they received a complaint from someone missing a substantial amount of money from their bank account. Upon investigation, it was revealed that 65 year old Ivan Gerdwagen from Saratoga Springs was the victim's power of attorney when $260,000 went missing (WRGB Staff, cbs6albany.com).
According to Steven Cook at The Daily Gazette, he is accused of withdrawing money from the victim's account from August to January from various banks without "permission or justifiable purpose that would benefit the victim". Because of the high amount that was stolen, Gerdwagen was charged with one count of second degree grand larceny, which is a felony.
When you're someone's power of attorney, it's up to you to use your loved one's money to help them, not yourself! Just think of all the groceries and healthcare that $260,000 could have helped pay for if Gerdwagen hadn't been selfish. It's a good thing he was stopped, otherwise there's no telling how long this would have gone on for.