June 26 — A Waterford man accused of defrauding his elderly mother by opening credit cards in her name surrendered to police this week.
Joseph Dooley III, 52, of 37 Greentree Dr., surrendered to the Waterford Police Department around 3 p.m. Wednesday, less than a week after an arrest warrant was issued for him, according to the Waterford Police.
Dooley was wanted on a warrant for first degree theft, first degree identity theft and third degree forgery. Police said he opened multiple credit card accounts in his 79-year-old mother’s name between March and April 2020 and then transferred his debt to them, according to the warrant.
In March and April 2020, police said 10 balance transfers her mother said she didn’t authorize were made to several accounts recently opened in her name, including a JP Morgan Chase card, a Wells Fargo card, two cards Citibank and a Discovery Card.
The transfers totaled over $ 61,000, plus over $ 2,000 in transfer fees, depending on the mandate. The transfers came from accounts linked to Dooley’s name, police said.
Dooley’s mother contacted her lawyer, Thor Holth, on September 3, 2020 to report that she had started to notice that accounts had been opened in her name and money had been taken from her.
She also reported charges on her unauthorized bank accounts, including purchases at liquor stores, restaurants and payments to health insurance companies. She also told her lawyer that she had stopped receiving mail regarding her finances and accounts. Her lawyer confirmed that mail that was scanned by the U.S. Postal Service was missing from her mailbox, police said.
Dooley told police his mother gave him permission to open credit cards and transfer his balances to help him manage his credit card debts over $ 60,000.
A witness listed in the warrant, identified as Dooley’s mother’s ex-husband, with whom she is still close, told police he spoke to his ex-wife about Dooley’s permission to open credit cards in his name in order to transfer his high interest. debt to reduce interest on accounts in his name.
The goal was to allow Dooley to better manage its debt by paying off the principal balance rather than the interest. In a written statement to attorney Holth, he said his ex-wife voluntarily agreed to the plan.
The ex-husband said he believed she was fully competent at the time of his decision “because she was alert, thoughtful and able to analyze the choices presented to her at the time,” according to the mandate.
Attorney T. Donovan, representing Dooley, said he believed Dooley’s mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, according to the warrant. He also said his mental state and memory appeared to have declined after suffering a fall in May 2020, months after he allegedly agreed to allow his son to open credit cards. A review of her medical records provided to the police by Holth showed that between 2019 and 2021, she was taking eight to nine drugs that could impair her memory or cognitive functions.
Donovan reached out to Holth and said Dooley believed he was acting as an attorney when he started helping his mother pay her bills after noticing some had gone unpaid for long periods of time. Dooley was made a POA in 1998, but only if her mother was deemed unfit to take care of herself and her own finances.
At the time the alleged crimes occurred, she had not been diagnosed with mental illness or memory loss, according to the warrant.
According to Dooley’s mother’s lawyer, she tried to withdraw the complaint against her son and drop the charges, but it was determined by his lawyer that when she called him to ask for the charges to be dropped. , Dooley was with her and gave her a script to read.