Virginia man stole more than $1.6 million from elderly stepparents

February 20th, 2010 - 5:23 am ICT by BNO News  

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) – A man from Virginia stole more than $1.6 million from his elderly stepmother and father, prosecutors said Friday.

Peter Wilde, 61, was born in Colombia but came to the United States in the 1960s, became a naturalized citizen, and has lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia for several years.

His stepparents, Guido and Susanna Wilde, lived in Colombia, and Susanna Wilde has remained there since Guide Wilde’s death in 2003.

Guido Wilde maintained accounts at Citibank in Manhattan since the 1950’s, and sharing them with Susanna since their marriage in 1965.

Peter Wilde was granted a power of attorney for the accounts because the couple aged and avoided recurrent trips to the U.S. They did not review the bank statements, which had a combined value exceeding $1.7 million, trusting Peter completely, but in 1996, he began withdrawing money for his personal expenses without authorization.

In 2004, Peter Wilde was revoked his power of attorney after Susanna Wilde found out he had withdrawn approximately $1.6 million. Peter Wilde is now facing up to 39 years in prison for three different counts.

“The defendant brazenly abused the trust that his elderly parents placed in him to manage their finances,” said District Attorney Vance. “Theft from vulnerable persons is a serious crime that this Office is committed to investigating, prosecuting and preventing.”

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