CLEVELAND — A portion of the hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly exploited from an 89-year-old Parma Heights man was used to purchase botox injections, breast implants and butt implants by the woman he trusted.
Details of the alleged scheme were revealed during testimony in a Cuyahoga County courtroom where 38-year-old Latasha Wisniewski is on trial on charges she orchestrated an elaborate plan to befriend the recently widowed victim and ultimately fleece him of his life savings.
Wisniewski has pleaded not guilty to the charges and insists the couple had a romantic relationship that included her moving in with the victim and taking care of him in the months before he died of cancer.
Parma Heights police investigated when the man's family complained.
The testimony came from Wisniewski's aunt, 39-year-old Lisa Dotson, who pleaded guilty earlier Monday in the same courtroom to similar charges in a separate case involving multiple elderly victims.
Dotson faces two to four years in prison and restitution totaling $200,000.
But Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Brent Kirvel says both Dotson and Wisniewski collaborated at one point to siphon off hundreds of thousands of dollars from the 89-year-old victim. That money was allegedly used to purchase plastic surgery, an SUV, gift cards and more.
In testimony Monday, Dotson also explained how she would earn a 50% "kickback" from checks she helped cash on the victim's account.
The case follows an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation--"Unprotected"--detailing the growing crime of elderly financial exploitation and the lack of resources to investigate and prosecute.
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Last year, as many as 3,000 elderly people across Ohio filed complaints that left the vast majority unprotected from financial exploitation.