Man sentenced to NH State Prison for stealing over $400K from elderly father
LACONICA — A man was sentenced to New Hampshire State Prison for stealing money from his elderly father.
Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced that Keith Cameron Fitzgerald, 52, was sentenced Thursday by the Belknap County Superior Court to 10 to 30 years in New Hampshire State Prison for stealing $409,980 from his elderly father, Clifford L. Fitzgerald Jr.
Six months of the minimum sentence and five years of the maximum sentence were suspended upon the condition that Fitzgerald makes an effort to pay full restitution. He also received a further suspended sentence of an additional 10 to 30 years, which the state could seek to impose if he fails to comply with the terms of his sentence upon his release from incarceration.
"The elderly make up one of New Hampshire's largest and most vulnerable populations," Attorney General MacDonald said. "This population faces an increasing rate of financial exploitation and abuse and unfortunately 90 percent of abusers are family members or trusted others. Today's sentence shows that those who take advantage of the elderly—including family members—for their own financial gain will face substantial but just consequences."
An investigation conducted by the Attorney General's office revealed that in the months before his 79-year-old father's death in 2010, Fitzgerald took advantage of authority conveyed to him in a Power of Attorney to siphon over $800,000 of his father's money into new and old secret bank accounts without his father's knowledge or authorization, reports read. Some accounts were titled to a fake, nonexistent trust, of which Fitzgerald was the sole trustee. Fitzgerald also put some of the money into a bank account in the name of a so-called charity that he had established.
From these accounts, Fitzgerald used the money for his sole benefit including paying down personal debts and settling a lawsuit. The amount of $409,980 of stolen money was directly tied to New Hampshire and formed the basis for the State's chargers.
On March 29, 2017, after a jury trial, Fitzgerald was convicted on all charges. The jury found that in committing these thefts, Fitzgerald intentionally took advantage of his father's impaired ability to manage his own financial resources.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of elder abuse, contact your local police department or the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (1-800-949-0470).