Missouri woman charged with embezzling $1.4 million from vulnerable Wayzata woman

A Branson, Missouri woman is accused of stealing more than $1.4 million from a vulnerable adult woman while serving as her personal secretary. 

According to charges filed in Hennepin County District Court, 63-year-old Cynthia Carley is facing seven felony counts of theft by swindle. Charges say she used funds from the victim’s bank account to pay $1,466,247,28 in unauthorized, fraudulent charges between 2016 and 2019. 

The victim, a 65-year-old Wayzata woman, suffered from muscular dystrophy and required the help of a personal secretary. 

The charges say the victim’s nephew discovered the thefts while reviewing her financial records. The Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center flagged the activity to the Wayzata Police Department, who reviewed bank and credit card statements to discover the alleged thefts. 

Police found the woman had set up auto payments into her account and payments into credit cards and other accounts. 

Carley told investigators any unauthorized spending would have been "unintentional."