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Pasco son accused of stealing thousands from elderly, disabled parents

His father had dementia. His mother was blind. Instead of helping them pay their bills, state investigators say, he helped himself.
Ronald Rose Jr., 48, faces two counts of exploitation of the elderly, one count of fraudulent use of personal identification information and violating his probation in Hillsborough County, according to the Florida Attorney General's Office.
Ronald Rose Jr., 48, faces two counts of exploitation of the elderly, one count of fraudulent use of personal identification information and violating his probation in Hillsborough County, according to the Florida Attorney General's Office. [ Pinellas County Sheriff's Office ]
Published May 4, 2020

A 48-year-old Pasco County man is accused of stealing tens of thousands from his disabled elderly parents, authorities say.

Ronald Rose Jr. was arrested Monday on two counts of exploitation of the elderly, one count of fraudulent use of personal identification information and violating his probation in Hillsborough County.

Rose is accused of pilfering from the accounts of his late father, a 69-year-old man who suffered from dementia, and his 77-year-old mother, who is blind, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Florida Attorney General’s Office. The son took a total of $71,642 from his parents’ accounts, the warrant said, and took out a $19,002 loan in his mother’s name without her knowledge.

She told investigators that “she does not want ... anything (to do) with Ronald Rose Jr. She does not trust that he will do the right thing. She doesn’t even want to get in the same car with him.” The mother agreed to press charges against her son.

The son had power of attorney over his father and was supposed to be helping his mother with her finances, the warrant said, when the fraudulent transactions took place from 2016 to 2018.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office said it started investigating Rose in January. The administrator of Orchard Ridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in New Port Richey told the agency that one of his residents was being “financially exploited” by his son. The administrator also said the son had stopped paying his father’s bill and owed the facility more than $35,000.

Investigators learned the mother’s rent at Sunshine Christian Homes in Holiday wasn’t being paid, either.

Rose was interviewed on Nov. 21. He denied exploiting his father and told investigators that he was told Medicaid would retroactively pay his father’s bill once it was approved. He also said his mother gave him permission to use his father’s accounts.

“He replied that he did use the money,” the warrant said, “but he would ask his mom if it was okay for him to do so.”

Investigators said they showed Rose bank records that showed he was using his father’s accounts to make car payments, insurance payments, pay for car washes and made ATM withdrawals.

Investigators had to tell his mother her son had not been making payments on behalf of his parents, the warrant said, and was instead using the money for his own personal needs. She said he did not have permission to use their funds. But the son repeatedly misled her about several financial issues involving her accounts, income and bills, the warrant said.

He also told her not to settle with Orchard Ridge after the father died at an undisclosed date. The facility said it was owed $46,000 but would settle for $23,000. The son told the mother not to pay it, the warrant said, to wait for Medicaid to be approved. Now she owes $56,000.

Rose was being held Monday in the Pinellas County jail without bail.