Monday, January 22, 2018
Public safety

Man accused of stealing $800,000 from elderly Pinellas County man's estate

A few years ago, authorities say, James David Zebranek Jr. gained access to an elderly Pinellas County man's estate and took $800,000. Then Zebranek had the money wired to banks around the world, fled to Panama and stayed in various resorts.

This week, authorities got a tip the 56-year-old Redington Shores man had returned to the United States. He was arrested Thursday in Texas on charges of grand theft, money laundering and perjury.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office detectives have worked on the case since 2010 after the victim learned Zebranek had access to his trust account.

Authorities did not say how Zebranek and the man knew each other or identify the victim other than to say he is 87 years old.

Officials said Zebranek convinced the trust company that the victim, who had suffered an illness in 2008, was permanently incapacitated even though the man had recovered.

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