Casper Man Charged with Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult
A Casper man appeared by video in Natrona County Circuit Court this afternoon before Judge Brian Christensen.
Kirby Roberts, 55, heard the single charge of exploitation of a vulnerable adult, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Christensen set bond at $5,000 cash or surety.
The case began on March 4, 2022 when a bank specialist told Natrona County Sheriffs that there was unusual activity on a client's bank account.
The statements were dated from Feb. 15, 2020 through Aug. 16, 2021. Court records indicate that during that period, the account holder received a social security check every month and appeared to pay regular monthly bills.
Beginning Sep. 17, 2020, his balance began to decrease and the amount of checks that were written against his account were regularly written in even amounts. Then, in June of 2021, along with multiple even-amounted checks, numerous debits were made to include purchases at Walmart, fuel stations, and Galloways Pub.
Written checks in December 2021 totaled $8,817. All the checks were for even amounts, some amounts as small as $100 -- the largest was $800.
From Dec. 30, 2021 to Feb. 10, 2022 there were a total of $7,863.36 charges to Wyoming Downs, various grocery stores, and checks in even dollar amounts.
A welfare check was performed on the account holder. He insisted that Roberts was a good friend and not stealing. He added that Roberts had been doing various remodels on the residence.
Investigators performed a memory assessment with him and noted the following:
- He believed the year was 2012.
- He struggled to repeat a phrase that the investigator asked him to remember.
- He struggled to count backwards from 20 to 1, unable to count past 17.
- He was unable to list the months of the year in reverse order.
- When asked how old he was, he responded "58," when his actual age was 66.
According to court documents, the alleged victim told investigators that Roberts had had a hard time and that he helped him out with money a few months back. "He's been staying here. He's been a great friend...I trust him."
On March 30, 2022, investigators interviewed Roberts.
Roberts said that he had moved the alleged victim out of a local rehab and into his own residence. He estimated that he had been living with him for about three years and took over his finances.
Roberts presented investigators with a list of invoices for the transactions on the alleged victim's account.
One of these charges was in the quantity of $19,372.50 for caregiving. According to Roberts, he cared for Godet for 105 days at $184.50 per day.
Investigators asked Roberts about withdrawals at Wyoming Downs. Roberts said the withdrawals came from an ATM machine inside the building. He explained, "I know. I was figuring in...that he owed me for these remodels, you know. That's how I was justifying it. I'm not going to lie to you. But I never got paid for that."
"So I'm going to be honest with you," said an investigator. "I am going to apply for a search warrant for the CashApp records, okay? When I get them, what am I going to see there?"
Roberts eventually admitted that it would "probably be 95% gambling."
"Is that something we need to look at for you, Kirby, like Gambler's Anonymous?"
"Yeah. It's an addiction, I'll tell ya."
"When did that start?"
"Probably a year ago. I don't know. Addictive personality. People get a rush when they win. They really do. It's a high. Because it's like, 'Wow,' I just made what it takes me all week to make in one spin."
Sadly, investigators learned that the alleged victim in this case passed away on April 20, 2022.
Roberts will have a preliminary hearing in 10 to 20 days depending on whether or not he bonds out.