Casper Man Pleads Guilty To Exploiting Vulnerable Adult; Must Repay $194,135
A former salesman at a Casper car dealership pleaded guilty in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday to one felony charge of financially exploiting a 92-year-old woman.
Taylor Cole Few, 26, faces a prison sentence of no more than eight years, and he must repay $194,135 as part of the plea deal, Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen told Judge Thomas Sullins.
In exchange for the plea, Blonigen and Public Defender Rob Oldham agreed that one count of felony theft and one count or wrongful taking or disposing of property will be dismissed at his sentencing, which has not been set yet.
Sullins does not have to accept the terms of the plea agreement, and if he does not, he can order the case to go to trial. If that were to happen, and Few was convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Few remains free on bond.
The case began in February when the victim was admitted to Wyoming Medical Center, according to a police affidavit.
A social worker accessed the victim's bank statements to determine her ability to pay for the hospital stay. The social worker contacted police after finding a $5,000 check written to "Taylor Sew." The social worker was concerned that the recipient of the check had taken advantage of the victim, due to her medical condition.
Using a Wyoming driver's license number written at the top of the check, a detective was able to determine that Few had been the recipient. On the memo line, the victim had written "Taylor's business."
On Feb. 15, the detective called Few, who was living in South Dakota. Few claimed to have known the victim for more than a year, and said he "took care of her" by driving her around to run errands.
Few worked as a car salesman at White's Mountain Motors from December 2016 through May 2017. During that time, the victim bought and traded in three vehicles before settling on a fourth vehicle. Few was the salesman for three of those transactions and made roughly $3,000 in commission.
Few also claimed to have paid the victim's bills with his own credit card. He said it was strange that the victim, while hospitalized, said she did not recognize Few's name.
When asked about the check, Few told the detective that the victim had given him the money to start up a lawn-care business.
In early March, the victim was moved into the memory care unit at Mountain Plaza Assisted Living. The facility's administrator went to the victim's house to retrieve the victim's personal belongings, including banking information. The administrator discovered checks that had been written to Taylor Few totaling over $50,000 in the previous year.
"In the span of approximately nine months, Few received over $165,000 in 13 different checks from [the victim]," the affidavit states. Another $17,000 was withdrawn by the victim during that span, with no explanation.
The victim had also spent over $47,000 on vehicle purchases in four months at the dealership where Few had worked as the salesman on three of the victim's purchases.