Florida man indicted for stealing millions from elderly West Virginia man

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:50 AM EDT
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MARTINSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - A Florida man has been indicted for stealing millions from an elderly West Virginia man with dementia.

50-year-old Samuel Bunner, of Spring Hill, Florida befriended the victim, from Jefferson County, while they were both working at the American Legion in Charles Town, according to the indictment.

Authorities say the victim had cognitive impairment, and Bunner began assisting him with medical appointments.

Bunner then took him to a law firm, where United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld says the victim made Bunner his power of attorney and gave him the ability to control his financial accounts.

Over a two-year period, authorities say Bunner enriched himself by selling the victim’s real estate, emptying investment and bank accounts, and opening a credit card in the victim’s name.

Bunner and his wife purchased real estate, motor vehicles, and luxury items, along with taking vacations, according to officials.

“This is a sad story about someone who worked hard his whole life, saved his money, and then when he began to suffer from cognitive decline, had everything stolen by an opportunist,” said United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld. “We will continue to do everything we can to protect older West Virginians from schemes such as this.”

Bunner has been charged with wire and bank fraud, identity theft, and money laundering.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and it is ongoing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eleanor Hurney is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

The Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida and FBI-Tampa assisted with the case.

If you know of an elderly person who has been the victim of financial fraud, please contact the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311) or send an email to wvfraud@fbi.gov.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.