Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Elder fraud--with a twist

From the CSM:

The grandchildren never really warmed to their new grandfather. As Giorgio Angelozzi, "adopted" by the Riva family here last year, lectured the children on good manners, just days after moving in, they developed a sudden interest in computer games and hid in their bedrooms with headphones firmly on.

This modest family in Spirano, near Milan, took the 80-year-old in after he offered his services as a live-in grandfather in the classified pages of a national newspaper. His tale of years of loneliness, with only cats and Latin poetry for company - relayed on TV networks and gossip magazines, and covered in the Monitor - sent a wave of guilt across Italy.

But eight months and a large dental bill later, the nonno appears less innocent.

Mr. Angelozzi lived with the Rivas, who paid for an operation, new glasses, and a vacation. Then things soured. He ran away in May, leaving a dentist bill for more than $3,600.

A few weeks later he produced a couple of large checks, saying he wanted to settle his debts. But he had stolen the checks from a family near Piacenza, south of Milan, who put him up while on the run.

Read the rest of the story.

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