Texas lottery winner battled Alzheimer’s as daughter stole $250,000
Not lengthy after Austin widow Billie Lawler matched all 5 numbers within the Mega Millions in 2005, her well being started to erode in conjunction with her $750,000 prize.
She was hoping to reside out the steadiness of her existence at a high-end Alzheimer’s care facility, however used to be evicted after a few yr when she not may just make the $five,000 per month hire, prompting a court-ordered investigation that exposed her daughter had burned thru her mother’s cash — a criminal offense in opposition to the aged that prosecutors and judges say is commonplace, however seldom leads to prison fees.
Shipped off to a state-run facility, Lawler died a month later in August 2010 because of headaches from a fall. She used to be 72 — 5 years after leaving a South Austin comfort retailer along with her successful numbers.
“She did not have the life she should have had but for this theft,” Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman stated.
Jane Greenwood, the youngest of Lawler’s 3 youngsters, used to be sentenced to 10 years of probation Wednesday for taking what prosecutors say used to be about $250,000 of her mother’s cash. Greenwood gave $27,000 to her husband and $11,000 to a person circle of relatives member stated Greenwood were relationship at the facet. There had been smaller transactions at Walmart and at a sports activities memorabilia retailer. She dined at upscale eating places and minimize exams to a number of extra members of the family.
Greenwood, 53, pleaded responsible in March to 2 first-degree felonies associated with the robbery. With such a lot of members of the family having already pocketed a bit of Lawler’s cash, state District Judge Brad Urrutia ordered a $51,000 restitution cost to be made via Greenwood to her mother’s sister, Betty Brown.
Reached Friday, Brown, 75, choked again tears and stated the lottery win introduced extra hurt than excellent.
“It meant nothing but misery,” she stated. “It just seemed like everything happened after that. It’s been hard…. We were amazed — absolutely amazed — she could spend that much money in that short of time.”
Brown stated she agreed with probation as a punishment, believing her sister wouldn’t have sought after Greenwood to be positioned in the back of bars. Greenwood’s attorney, Jim Young, stated probation used to be suitable regardless of “substantial irregularities to the way the estate was handled.” Greenwood is on probation for an unrelated methamphetamine ownership case in Hays County.
At the time Lawler checked into Arveda Alzheimer’s Family Care in May 2009, her account steadiness used to be locally of $307,000, prosecutors stated. By then, the girl who had lived modestly on no matter she made as a seasonal IRS employee had dispensed a few of her winnings to circle of relatives. She handled herself to a Chrysler 300.
Greenwood carried out and used to be appointed via a court docket to be her mother’s parent. But she by no means posted a required bond and the settlement used to be voided in July 2010. Her mother died a month later.
A attorney appointed to switch Greenwood as parent found out cash were lacking and filed a prison criticism with the district legal professional’s administrative center. Greenwood used to be indicted in April 2015 on fees of irritated robbery and irritated misapplication of fiduciary belongings. The two fees took under consideration the sufferer’s age.
The prosecutor at the case, Keith Henneke, stated that with out the robbery Lawler would have had sufficient cash to stick at Arveda thru mid-2017.
“Unfortunately, these cases are rampant in our communities,” Henneke stated. “We continue to work hard to bring these cases to light to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”
A separate civil dispute used to be resolved via Greenwood and different heirs of the property, who dispensed more or less $130,000 from the sale of Lawler’s South Austin house.
Judge Herman, who oversaw the civil case, stated he is happy that prison penalties arose from Greenwood’s robbery.
“There is a reluctance to prosecute because the perception is the victim can’t tell you,” he stated. “It’s not the easy case where someone stole my bicycle and we know who did it.”
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