He was 96 and died with no money in a University Place nursing home.
Authorities say it’s because one of his nieces siphoned more than $400,000 from his bank accounts and stopped paying for his care.
On Wednesday, the niece, Betsey Cammon, 54, pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of theft.
She was ordered jailed on $25,000 bail.
“She depleted his assets to a point where he may not have had enough money for his own care,” Pierce County deputy prosecuting attorney Erika Nohavec said. “There was a point when he had $51,000 in arrears, and they had to cash out other investments to cover that.”
Cammon was granted power of attorney over her uncle’s estate in 1998 but didn’t assume an active role. In 2007, her name was added to his bank accounts. In 2009, her uncle was placed in a nursing home because of his dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and Cammon fully took over his finances.
By that time, prosecutors allege, Cammon had withdrawn nearly $200,000 from his bank accounts.
Prosecutors say she eventually took more than $423,999 from one of his accounts, gifting $49,450 to a friend. She also is accused of using her uncle’s money to pay thousands in property taxes for two houses owned by herself and her longtime boyfriend.
After Cammon didn’t pay her uncle’s nursing home bill, family members took her to court, and a court-appointed guardian took over the uncle’s estate. When a family member confronted Cammon about financial discrepancies after her uncle’s death in September 2010, she allegedly promised to explain but never did.
“According to family members, Betsey claims that an unknown person was threatening and extorting her to get her to give them this money,” charging papers state.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653