A Casper woman pleaded guilty to one count of exploitating an 89-year-old man -- by stealing nearly $50,000 from him -- during a change of plea hearing in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday.

Tamara Kay Voelker, who was 58 at the time of her arrest, appeared reluctant to enter the plea of exploitation of a vulnerable adult and talk about the crime when she appeared before Judge Thomas Sullins.

In exchange for the plea, District Attorney Mike Blonigen said the state would dismiss one count of theft at the time of sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set. She could face up to 10 years of imprisonment and pay up to a $10,000 fine.

Voelker also must pay restitution of $48,471.30, Blonigen said.

She pleaded not guilty to both counts during her arraignment in late January. She made her initial appearance in early January.

The case began April 12, 2016, when the victim's daughter-in-law reported to police that Voelker was having him pay her rent and utilities and charging items to his credit cards without his knowledge, according to court records.

The victim had told his daughter-in-law that he was having financial troubles, so she and her family looked at his financial records

The victim told police Voelker befriended him several years earlier and then became his “caregiver” after his wife passed away.

He also may have had dementia, according test administered by the Wyoming Department of Family Services, court documents say, though he had not been examined or diagnosed by a doctor at the time.

A thorough audit of his finances determined that she took at least $48,471.30 from the him from Jan. 13, 2015 through April 30, 2016.

Voelker “recklessly and intentionally obtained control through undue influence” over the victim — “a vulnerable adult” — money and assets, “with the intention of permanently depriving him of the ownership, use and benefit of his money," according to a police affidavit.

Voelker remains in custody.

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