LAKEVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) - An adult daughter, trusted with caring for a dying father and a mother suffering from dementia, and her husband are being accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from her parents.
The charges leveled against Shannon Thompson will be hard for some to grasp. Fox 9 spoke with Don Widboom back in January 2014. The veteran would be dead within weeks after losing his painful battle with pancreatic cancer. The loss crushed the family, including daughter Sarah Loewen, but it's what has allegedly happened in the aftermath that has added more pain to those close to Widboom and his widow, Mary.
“I was very close to my sister. I'm not sure what happened, why she thought she could do this to our family,” Loewen said.
Dakota County prosecutors have charged Thompson and her husband with two felony counts each for theft. The couple had agreed to care for their parents and help handle their finances by moving in with them during Widboom’s cancer fight and his wife’s slide into dementia. Instead of assisting the family in a time of overwhelming need, the couple is now accused of stealing thousands of dollars in life insurance money owed to their mom.
Investigators also found they stole and forged checks totaling thousands of dollars from Mary Widboom's accounts, draining their mother's savings. The family realized something was very wrong when Thompson and her husband posted family photos from exotic trips on their Facebook page.
"I'm actually happy my mom has dementia because if she didn't -- who does that to their own mom? She would be heartbroken if she really understood what was happening,” Loewen said.
Thompson is also accused of opening a credit card and running up bills in her late grandmother's name. Additionally, the criminal charges against her include allegations of stolen family prescriptions, including oxycodone. Fox 9 left voicemail messages and tried finding Thompson and her husband for comment today, but our efforts were unsuccessful.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom told Fox 9 that the charges illustrate the growing issue of elderly financial abuse across the country. Oftentimes, committed by once trusted family members.
Sadly, he said the victims sometimes don't even realize they have been ripped off. The investigation into this case continues. He did not rule out the potential for additional charges against Shannon & Ted Thompson.