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article imageEdmonton woman charged with defrauding seniors

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 14, 2013 in Crime
Edmonton - A 43-year-old woman was arrested after it was alleged she targeted and befriended three elderly men and defrauded them out of more than $200,000.
The announcement of the arrest yesterday was made by the Edmonton Police Service. It is alleged the woman befriended and then defrauded a 76-year-old man and two 84-year-olds. After gaining their friendship, that was not romantic or sexual, she made emotional pleas to them for money. She told the victims the money was just a loan and she would pay them back after a third party paid her.
The frauds are alleged to have occurred between 2010 and 2012. Police were notified when the men and their families realized the money was never going to be repaid.
Wendy Curran, 43, is facing two counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count of fraud under $5,000. None of the money has been repaid and two of the three men are facing serious financial difficulties as a result of their relationship with Curran.
It is reported Curran is well known as a panhandler.
According to Staff Sgt. Jared Buhler, Curran would begin by asking her new friends for small amounts of cash. Buhler said, "She was successful in taking it a step further, and then a step further and a step further, until they believed they were her friend and they were helping her. I think she was targeting a lot of people and these were the big fish, so to speak, that she was able to reel in."
During 2012, the Elder Abuse Intervention Team of the Edmonton Police Service investigated 236 instances of reported elder abuse. Of those cases, approximately 75% consisted of alleged financial abuse. Acting Insp. Sean Armstrong said, "This includes the misuse of a senior's funds or property obtained through fraud, trickery, theft or force...With our growing seniors demographic, it's crucial that we all look out for these vulnerable members of our community and report abuse immediately to the police."
Curran is scheduled to appear in court on June 21.
More about wendy curran, Elder abuse, Fraud, defrauding seniors, edmonton police
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