Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater woman accused of stealing thousands from elderly mother

PINELLAS PARK — Police have arrested a woman they say swindled her elderly mother out of more than $80,000 over the past few years.

Bonnie Meale, 48, of Clearwater, was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail on Friday. She faces a charge of scheme to defraud.

Detectives believe Meale drained her mother's savings of about $30,000 and took out a $50,000 loan against the 84-year-old's Pinellas Park condominium, police Capt. Sanfield Forseth said.

Forseth said Meale's uncle brought his concerns to detectives in March.

Detectives discovered that after the victim's husband died in 2008, Meale took over the finances. She quickly began moving money around, Forseth said, and at one point had her mother sign paper work she thought had to do with regular bank activity.

The woman didn't realize it was a document for a home equity loan, which records show had not been repaid, Forseth said.

Detectives also found credit cards the victim said she didn't know anything about, he said.

Forseth said Meale told detectives who confronted her on Thursday that she acted with permission.

"Her contention is that her mother knew everything that she was doing," Forseth said.

The victim has since moved out of state and lives with other family members, he said.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Clearwater woman accused of stealing thousands from elderly mother 10/26/12 [Last modified: Friday, October 26, 2012 5:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  2. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  3. After last year's drug-related deaths, Tampa's Sunset Music Festival says it's stepping up safety, security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Alex Haynes worked three jobs. He had a fiance and an infant son. He owned his own home in Melbourne. Last summer, the 22-year-old attended the Sunset Musical Festival at Raymond James Stadium.

    He left in an ambulance.

    Last year’s Sunset Music Festival was marked by dozens of medical emergencies.
  4. What you need to know for Friday, May 26

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read this morning why Florida's most prized sweet corn is nearly extinct. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times