Newport Police charge man in $48,000 fraud case

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Newport Police say they’ve charged a man with allegedly stealing more than $48,000 from an elderly woman over a period of four years.

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Eric Brigham, 52, of Williamstown, was charged with one count of financial exploitation.

According to police, back in October, a private investigator working for an 84-year-old woman notified police that her relative had been taking advantage of her by abusing his power of attorney.

An investigation was launched and police say they learned that Brigham had been given power of attorney of the woman’s affairs in June 2014.

In December of 2014, he allegedly began writing checks out of the victim’s account without her permission and in February 2015, he obtained checks that had both his name and the victim’s name on them under her account.

According to investigators, he used checks and a debit card to withdraw thousands of dollars in funds from the victim’s bank accounts on a regular basis over the course of four years.

Police say he wrote out checks to himself for cash or wrote them out under the victim’s name, but rarely gave the victim any of her own money and rarely visited her in the nursing home.

In total, Brigham is alleged to have stolen $48,149.11 from the victim and left her with several delinquent credit card bills and more than $20,000 in debt to her nursing home.

“I want to credit Officer Nicholas Rivers who investigated this complex case and was able to determine the extent of Mr. Brigham’s alleged fraud and deceit against his own relative,” Newport Police Chief DiSanto said. “Fortunately, Officer Rivers was able to follow the paper trail left by the suspect which gave us the evidence we needed to charge him.”

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