YCSO: Deborah Verna accused of defrauding woman with dementia

PRESCOTT, AZ - A Prescott-area woman faces theft and other charges accusing her of misusing a power of attorney to defraud a 74-year-old woman with dementia and sell the home and other possessions of the victim.

Deborah Verna, 61, was arrested Monday and is being held in lieu of $750,000 bond, police said Thursday.

Verna is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the victim, who was approximately $20,000 behind on payments to her care facility, police said.

Police said Verna sold the victim's home to a relative of Verna at a price well below market value and signed the victim's vehicle over to herself.

According to police, most of the victim's possessions were sold but some were found at Verna's home during a search.

It's not immediately known whether Verna has a lawyer. Police said Prescott lawyer John Sears is Verna's lawyer, but he told The Associated Press he has not been retained "at this point."

Police Lt. Ken Morley said Verna cleaned the victim's house after the victim's husband died. Verna has a background in accounting and knew the victim for about four months before she was granted power of attorney, he said.

"We suspect there are more victims," Morley said.

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