Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Couple Deprives Family of Life Savings


Teresa and Robert Oakes, 54 and 55, are being accused of depriving Teresa Oakes’ 87-year old mother and her late husband of their life savings over the last six years. 

The investigation began in January when Teresa’s mother discovered her daughter was defrauding her of her funds.  After calling the St. Johns County Sheriff’s office, a lengthy investigation revealed that the couple had stolen all of the victims’ assets and continued to exploit them once they had secured Power of Attorney.  The couple is accused of stealing over $282,000, along with another $150,000 in property. 

Deputies said Teresa and Robert convinced Teresa’s parents to jointly purchase a home with a guest house in Florida and move from New Jersey in 2008.  The victims paid cash for their half while Teresa and Robert mortgaged the rest.  The couple also convinced the victims to withhold their name from the deed to avoid probate upon their death, in addition to cashing out on all of their investments.  Following Robert’s death last year, the couple took the life insurance funds from Teresa’s mother.

Teresa’s mother was left with only $115 in her checking account.

See Deputies: Couple Sought After Defrauding 87-year-old Woman, Late Husband, News 4 Jax, June 16, 2014.


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