Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman tells court what she lost in elderly exploitation case

NEW PORT RICHEY — They called her mom.

Joseph and Cynthia Clancy weren't related to Eloise Mudway, but the elderly widow said she and the couple built a close bond while sharing Mudway's New Port Richey home.

But then, authorities say, they turned her into a victim.

Mudway said the Clancys burned through her savings, transferred her $370,000 house to themselves and booted her out, sending her to live in an assisted living facility.

Elderly victims of financial exploitation are usually shielded from the public, their names withheld by authorities who want to protect them from other predators.

But Mudway, 91, came to the courtroom Wednesday, in a wheelchair pushed by her caretaker, to publicly point the finger at the Clancys, who are on trial for exploitation of the elderly and grand theft.

She agreed to have her name used in this story.

• • •

Mudway, 91, is frail but feisty, at times commenting to her caretaker during the questioning. She used headphones to hear Assistant State Attorney Mary Handsel's questions.

Handsel asked Mudway what the living situation was like when the Clancys moved in seven years ago.

"The first few years, they treated me like a mother," Mudway told Handsel. "They even called me mother."

But according to a sheriff's report, the Clancys forged Mudway's name on checks to deplete her $32,500 checking account.

Mudway told Handsel that at one point, Cynthia Clancy, 45, told Mudway that she didn't have any money in the bank.

A few years after she moved in, Cynthia Clancy had Mudway sign a two-page document. When Mudway asked what the document was about, Clancy didn't explain, sheriff's reports say.

It turned out to be a quitclaim deed to transfer ownership of her house to the Clancys, who still live in her Hilltop Drive home in Golden Acres.

"Did you know that by signing this piece of paper," Handsel said while holding the document, "you were losing your house?"

"No," Mudway said.

• • •

Mudway met Cynthia Clancy at her doctor's office, according to Pasco sheriff's reports. At the time, Clancy was the manager of the office.

"I asked if they could come live with me," Mudway told Handsel. "It's a big house, and I'm afraid of the dark. I said I'd pay the bills. At that time, I was fond of Cindy."

A few months after they moved in, Cynthia Clancy took Mudway to a law office to have her sign over power of attorney. Three years later, Mudway signed over her house.

In December of 2004, Mudway was hospitalized. When she was released, she said, the Clancys wouldn't allow her to return to the Hilltop Drive home, even though her belongings were inside, according to a sheriff's office report.

The Clancys arranged for Mudway to rent a room with Jeff Kores, who runs an assisted living facility in his home. They told Kores that Mudway was expected to die within six months, although she wasn't, according to a sheriff's office report.

Because of the complexity of the financial transactions in the case, both sides agreed to a bench trial, in which the judge — not a jury — will weigh the facts and deliver a verdict.

Testimony will resume at 10 a.m. today in Judge Jack Day's courtroom.

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Woman tells court what she lost in elderly exploitation case 09/03/08 [Last modified: Friday, September 5, 2008 10:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Father and brother of alleged bomber detained in Libya


    The father and younger brother of the man who British police say bombed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have been detained in Libya, where anti-terror authorities said the brother confessed to knowing "all the details" of the attack plot.

    Hashim Ramadan Abedi appears inside the Tripoli-based Special Deterrent anti-terrorism force unit after his arrest on Tuesday for alleged links to the Islamic State extremist group. Abedi is the brother of Salman Abedi, who has been identified as the man behind the bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester. [Ahmed Bin Salman, Special Deterrent Force via AP]
  2. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows


    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  3. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill


    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    President Donald Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House with members of the GOP on May 4 after the House passed legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act. [Cheriss May | Sipa USA via TNS]
  4. Tarpon Springs psychic charged with defrauding veteran, widow out of $155,000


    TARPON SPRINGS — A psychic was arrested Tuesday after police said she scammed two clients out of more than $150,000.

    Gina Wilson
  5. St. Pete Economic Development Corporation lures marketing firm MXTR to town

    Economic Development

    St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation has lured its first big catch to St. Petersburg — MXTR Automation. The digital marketing company announced Wednesday that it will fill 20 "high-wage" creative positions within the next 18 months, as well as open an office in downtown St. Petersburg this year.