Renee and Jerry Woolf of rural Manteca face three felony counts of financial elder abuse, credit card fraud and one white collar crime enhancement involving $1.4 million of their 80-year-old aunt’s savings as they enter the final days of a month-long Superior Court trial in Stockton.
Assistant District Attorney Cherie Adams said the couple took care of the aunt after she was stricken by a stroke. Now it must be determined by the court how much of her savings were actually used for her care and how much went to the benefit of Woolf’s immediate family and business.
“There’s been over a million that has been in and out of the account,” Adams said.
Bank records reportedly indicated that as of January 2010 there was less than $5,000 left in her account. Adams added that the spending began in 2005 and continued until December of 2009.
Hundreds of checks were allegedly written against the elder’s account used to remodel their home, buy appliances and to purchase garage doors for Woolf’s garage door business as well as for the aunt’s care. She was removed from the home in March of 2010 and placed in an assisted care facility before the couple was arrested.
A witness to the scenario explained that the victim and her sister had lived together throughout their lives. They never married and had no children. They were very frugal with their money noting the surviving sister had worked for 45 years at Sharpe Depot in Lathrop.
The older of the two died of breast cancer in 1999 and left her share of the pooled fortune to her surviving sister. The latter was later stricken by a stroke when her niece Renee Woolf took on the responsibility of caring for her in her Lathrop Road home in January 2005. The immediate Woolf family consisted of the couple and their two children.
The Bank of Stockton reportedly alerted to inconsistencies and possible fraudulent activity in her account called the Sheriff’s Department to investigate. The Woolf couple was taken into custody in March of 2010, months after the bank voiced its concerns. The victim had been removed from the home prior to the couple’s arrest and placed in an assisted care facility, according to the district attorney’s office.
The assistant district attorney said she hopes to call Renee Woolf to the stand today followed by closing arguments that may run into Thursday. The couple is reportedly represented by attorneys appointed by the court. The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Friday, Adams said.
Adams must prove in her closing arguments that the couple took a minimum of $500,000 from the woman to reach a possible prosecution in the enhancement case.