Casper Woman Denies Stealing Nearly $50,000 From Vulnerable Adult
A woman accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from an 89-year-old man denied two felony counts brought against her during her arraignment Tuesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
Tamara Kay Voelker, 58, pleaded not guilty to one count of theft and one count of exploitation of a vulnerable adult. She could face up to 20 years in prison and have to pay $20,000 in fines if convicted on both counts.
Investigators allege in court documents that Voelker befriended the victim and then became his "caregiver" after his wife passed away.
She later allegedly had the victim pay for her rent and utilities, charged items to the victim's credit cards without his knowledge and stole his prescription pain medication.
Voelker is accused of taking $48,471.30 from the victim from Jan. 13, 2015 through April 30, 2016.
The victim may have dementia according to his score on a test administered by the Wyoming Department of Family Services, court documents say, though he had not been examined or diagnosed by a doctor at the time.
According to a police affidavit, Voelker "recklessly and intentionally obtained control through undue influence" over the victim -- "a vulnerable adult" -- money and assets, "with the intention of permanently depriving him of the ownership, use and benefit of his money."
Voelker remains in custody on $5,000 cash or surety bond.