WINTER PARK, FL – As a lawyer, you can’t get much lower than stealing from your clients. But Winter Park attorney Matthew Roby sunk to the despicable level for his acts of fraud. Not only did he steal from a client, the client in question was an active, adventurous woman who lived to be 108 years old.
Roby, who was disbarred, took a plea agreement in court Friday that sends him to prison for five years for stealing millions of dollars from Helen Kuhn, 108.
Attorney Matthew Roby stole $3 MILLION from Helen Kuhn by fraudulently getting power of attorney & draining her accounts. Helen died June 8 at the age of 108.
Roby agreed to a plea today for Exploitation of Elderly & Grand Theft.
More: https://t.co/w8xubJefsC pic.twitter.com/VlosTiZJtd
— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 24, 2022
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Roby was arrested in 2021 and agreed to the plea deal for exploitation of an elderly person and grand theft of more than $100,000.
Kuhn passed away earlier this month fully aware that the man she had once trusted was going to be locked up for his misdeeds. The Sheriff’s Office said she caught on to the fraud back in 2019.
OCSO detectives said a few years ago, Kuhn noticed a problem with her finances. They said she had realized that Roby, her former lawyer, had fraudulently gained power of attorney over her, then drained more than $2 million from her accounts.
Fortunately, the detectives said they have been able to recover $2.4 million of that stolen money.
Karen Murillo, advocacy manager for AARP Florida, spoke about Kuhn’s case. She said:
“Unfortunately, this is not the first case of exploitation of an attorney. I’ll tell you that exploitation occurs based off the proximity to an older or vulnerable adult.”
According to AARP, this type of exploitation is only becoming more common. Murillo noted:
“Sadly, exploitation is on the rise. What we are seeing is that it has increased nationally, there’s an average loss for victims of exploitation of about $120,000. We’re seeing that one in 10 Americans are the victim of some sort of elder abuse.”
Wandys Vazquez Suares, who was Kuhn’s neighbor, said she admired the retired teacher. She said:
“She was excellent, beautiful woman, strong woman.”
When Vazquez Suares heard Roby would be going to prison, she had a suggestion:
“Maybe he has to do life. It’s not good stealing from people. That is wrong.”
Kuhn was a woman who did not seem to slow down until last year, when she had taken a fall. The Orlando resident had taught school for 35 years but she was just getting started at that point. At 60, she married for the first time. She earned her pilot’s license after that and flew until she was 93 and drove her car until she was 101 years old.
Her best friend said she was good with finances. Kuhn had a few million dollars in her accounts, was living alone and doing great. That is, until her family attorney started siphoning off her money in 2019.
She was an opportune target, said detective Chris Williams, who explained that a large tax bill in 2019 alerted Kuhn to the trouble ahead. She said Roby was dismissive and told her to pay the tax but something didn’t sit right with her about the situation, so she went to the sheriff’s office.
A three-year investigation uncovered Roby’s actions. He had gained power of attorney and transferred her money to another bank and spent some of it.
Helen Kuhn Wiki
Helen Kuhn Biography
Who was Helen Kuhn?
"Helen taught school for 35 years, flew planes until she was 93 years old and drove until she was 101 years old," Orange County officials said.
Sadly, #HelenKuhnhttps://t.co/8jIaAPH70L pic.twitter.com/XD1KmNFF7a
— wikisoon (@wikisoon3) June 27, 2022
From March to September 2019, he transferred $490,000 from her bank account to her firm’s trust account. From there he spent some of the money but Kuhn believed he was waiting for her to pass away to use the bulk of the account.
Kuhn was not in the courtroom Friday to see the conclusion of the case because she had died 16 days earlier while waiting for justice. But she knew he had been caught and would not be able to do this to anyone again.
She was angry and upset and kept saying she couldn’t wait to hear the jingle of the keys when he was hauled off to jail.
Prosecutors said most of the money that Roby took went to pay into another estate, but he was not charged with a crime in that case.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in the Roby orchard, apparently, as his father, Ronald Roby had been Kuhn’s attorney before Matthew and had also been disbarred for misappropriation of funds.
In that case, a client in 2014 accused Ronald Roby of taking tens of thousands of dollars from his account and could not account for the missing funds.
Roby will formally receive his sentence in August and will be ordered to pay back the money he spent. The Sheriff’s Office said there may be more victims and anyone with information is asked to call 407-836-4357.
Man dressed as health care worker tries to force his way into elderly woman’s home, gets fatally shot by homeowner’s son
April 18, 2022
HOUSTON, TX – Authorities with the Houston Police Department (HPD) have stated that an individual dressed as a healthcare worker was fatally shot after forcing his way into an elderly woman’s home.
An investigation is underway after a man fatally shot an intruder that was acting as a health care worker while trying to break into the home of the man’s mother in southeast Houston, police said. https://t.co/gU4bKmcyTV
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) April 12, 2022
According to FOX26, the incident occurred at a residence located in the 12500-block of Cooperstown Drive around 11:30 p.m. on April 11th. The fatal shooting will now be referred to a Harris County grand jury.
Officers with HPD said that a 65-year-old woman that was home alone received a knock on her door from a man wearing scrubs who was claiming to be a health care worker. The woman refused to let the man in and called her 40-year-old son, who was only a few blocks away.
Officers stated that the son arrived and found that the man had broken the door. As the intruder was forcing his way into the home, the son fired his personal weapon and shot the suspect. Neighbor Yazmin said:
“I heard, ‘bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!’ Five or six gunshots.”
Thirteen-year-old neighbor Nicole, added:
“It was really, really frightening. We were hearing multiple gunshots.”
Residents stated that the neighborhood is normally super quiet and is full of retirees. Another neighbor, Mike, said:
“We sit out here all day long. I couldn’t believe it. Last night, when I came out, there were cars everywhere. Police cars.”
Intruder Is Shot & Killed After Trying To Break Into SE Houston Home | KPRC AM 950 | Walton And Johnson https://t.co/LaOOiFbSJO
— SearchWarrant (@SearchWarrant1) April 14, 2022
According to investigators, the elderly woman also had a gun, but it is believed that she did not use the firearm. Investigators said that it appears the man chose the house at random, but the investigation is still ongoing. Nicole, the young teenager said:
“I just feel really, really bad for her. She deserves so much better. I just feel scared now because I don’t know if it’s going to happen again.”
HPD Lieutenant J.P. Horelica added that the motive for the home invasion is still unclear. He said in a statement:
“It doesn’t look like there’s any relation at all. It was just a random thing. The home health care that dropped on the original radio was part of a ruse to try to gain entry in the home without having to force entry, and when that didn’t work, he tried to force entry in there.”
The woman and her son were not injured during the incident. A grand jury will now decide if anyone involved will face charges as a result of the incident.
In a separate incident in Michigan, a man who was having an affair with a former coworker tried to kill his wife with a shotgun in the middle of the night, but had to make it look like a home invasion when his plan failed.
The incident happened around 3 a.m. on March 29th in Casco Township, Michigan. Police said they were called to the home by 57-year-old Gregory Allen Ringel. Police said that Ringel told them a person armed with a shotgun had entered the home through the garage, walked through the kitchen and knocked over a steel tumbler.
Michigan man having affair with ex-coworker makes up fake home invasion after failing to kill wife https://t.co/WjW5QjrWCu
— ClickOnDetroit (@clickondetroit) April 18, 2022
Ringel said that the noise woke his wife up and so she got up out of bed to see what happened. Officials said that Ringel’s story was that his wife had been met at the doorway with a shotgun barrel as the armed person was entering her room.
Ringel then told police that the man shot at his wife, but missed and so she shut the door on the gun barrel, effectively keeping the gunman from entering the room.
Ringel stated that he had been sleeping in another room, but that when he woke up he grabbed his handgun from the nightstand. He said that when he saw a shadow, he shot in the direction of the alleged intruder before going to check on his wife.
Investigators working the case said that inconsistencies and unexplained facts began to pop up in Ringel’s story. Police said they eventually learned that Ringel was having an affair with an ex-coworker from out of state.
During a follow-up interview, Ringel admitted that he had made up the home invasion after using a single-shot 12 gauge to try to enter the bedroom and shoot his wife.
Ringel was arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder, firearm discharge in a building, false report of a felony, and two felony firearm violations.
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