An Orangeburg County couple is charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult family member after misusing funds from the 65-year-old woman's retirement account, according to Orangeburg deputies.
Tod and Melissa Sturkie of Neeses are charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Patrick Sturkie is also charged with breach of trust over $10,000.
According to investigators, Tod Sturkie had power of attorney for a 65-year-old family member, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. The Sturkies are accused of using more than $25,000 from the victim’s account for personal use during a 10-month period between April 2015 and February 2016, according to warrants.
Deputies say a family member alerted the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office that the victim was being taken advantage of in her current physical state.
The Sturkies are facing a maximum of five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and restitution to the victim.
Both have been released on a personal recognizance bond - $5,000 for Melissa Sturkie and $20,000.
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