News Story

 

Financial Elder Abuse Arrests
6/23/2016 3:00:00 PM

 

Nature of Incident:

Financial Elder Abuse Arrests

Report Number:

RB#16-58025

Location:

100 block of Rockaway Road, Oakview, CA

Date & Time:

06/20/2016 @ 8:00 am  

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ojai Patrol and Ojai Station Detectives

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

Age

Fearing, Michelle

Hallmark, George  

Ojai

Ojai

47

56

 

Narrative:

On 4/19/16, at about 2:30 pm, George Hallmark contacted the Ventura County Sheriff's Office to report that his 85-year old father was the victim of financial elder abuse that occurred between 12/1/2015 and 3/8/2016. Hallmark reported that the person he had hired to assist with the care of his elderly father and to assist in managing the father's finances had accessed his father's money for personal use.

Over the next two months Ojai detectives thoroughly investigated the financial records and all parties involved. Detectives discovered that it was actually Hallmark and his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Fearing, who had been using the victim's funds illegally.  Hallmark and Fearing had opened credit accounts in the victim's name for their own personal use over the past three years. The unauthorized use of the victim's funds caused the victim's debts to pile up and unnecessary fees and penalties were added to the victim's accounts. The misuse of funds also resulted in the lack of maintenance to the victim's residence, which had deteriorated to an almost uninhabitable state.

Adult Protective Services and Ventura County Code Enforcement were brought in to assist in identifying necessary actions that needed to be taken by the victim's family to provide a healthy and stable environment for the victim.

During the course of the investigation, both Fearing and Hallmark confessed to the use of the victim's funds for personal use, including spending large amounts of money at Southern California casinos. On 6/17/2016, Michelle Fearing was arrested for financial elder abuse, a violation of California Penal Code section 368(d) and identity theft, a violation of California Penal Code section 530.5(a). She was booked into the Ventura County Main Jail. Bail was set at $60,000.00.

On 6/20/2016, George Hallmark was arrested for financial elder abuse, a violation of California Penal Code section 368(d) and identity theft, a violation of California Penal Code section 530.5(a). He was booked into the Ventura County Main Jail. Bail was set at $120,000.00.

Ojai Police Department and Adult Protective Services encourages all citizens to report any incidents of suspected elder abuse.  These victims are often unable to protect themselves and are also often in fear of the abuser.

 

Prepared by:

Detective Joe Mulrooney

 

Media Release Date:

6/23/2016

 

Follow-Up Contact:

Detective J. Mulrooney 805-477-7038

 

Approved by:

Captain David C. Kenney

 






Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

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