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Warr Acres woman charged with allegedly stealing $450,000 from Navy veteran, widower with Alzheimer’s

EL RENO, Okla. - A Warr Acres woman is facing felony charges after she allegedly stole nearly half a million dollars from a Navy veteran and widower with Alzheimer's, under her care.

Cindy Lynn Smith, 48, of the 5700 block of NW 37th St., Warr Acres, was charged in Canadian County Wednesday with felony counts of elderly exploitation, money laundering, and felony multi-county offender. Oklahoma City Police arrested Smith Wednesday; she's currently in the Oklahoma County jail.

Cindy Smith

Oklahoma City Police began an investigation on December 20, 2017 after the daughter of the 82-year-old victim -- who News 4 is not naming -- contacted police, saying an "old family acquaintance" who was supposed to be helping the man pay his bills had been stealing from him.

The daughter suspected $350,000 had been taken so far and also told police Smith tricked the victim in to giving Smith his SUV and an old home, that Smith currently resides at, without any payment.

When contacted by News 4, the man's family -- who lives out of state -- declined to comment about the case at this time.

According to a criminal complaint, Smith allegedly stole more than $450,000 from the victim's savings account, dating back to 2015. By the time the victim's family was able to have Smith removed from the account, there was a little more than $40,000 remaining.

Smith was arrested Wednesday and is currently in the Oklahoma County jail.

Crimes span several years

According to police reports, probable cause affidavits, search warrants and civil filings, it's a saga that dates back to at least February 2015 -- and even as far back as 2011.

Court documents say the U.S. Navy veteran's Tinker Federal Credit Union savings account had a balance of $418,281 in February 2015. With a monthly Navy pension and social security check, plus accrued interest on the savings account, Oklahoma City Police investigators determined the monthly income was more than enough for the victim to live on.

Search warrants and probable cause affidavits say Smith was added as a joint owner on the savings account in February 2015. By the time the victim's family realized something was amiss and removed Smith from the victim's account last fall, $41,560 remained.

An Oklahoma City Police white collar crimes investigator said in court filings that after Smith was added to the account, "the quantity, size and frequency of the transactions and withdrawals increased." Two months after being added, the savings account balance decreased by $73,613 from the previous month.

According to court filings, Smith used nearly $30,000 from the victim's savings account to pay off a 2016 Honda Accord -- registered in her name -- in October 2017, nearly $15,000 for a new hot tub at her Warr Acres home this past August, and a $77,000 cashier's check issued from TFCU in 2015 to pay off a BancFirst loan in her name.

There were also massive cash transfers, according to police. Between October 11 and 12, 2017, police say $295,000 was transferred from the victim's account to Smith's personal TFCU account, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit also says a number of other loans, credit cards and purchases in Smith's name were paid by Smith with funds coming from the victim's account. Between February 2015 and February 2018, police say Smith took more than $450,000 from the victim's savings account.

Home deed, SUV, other transactions in question

When the daughter first contacted police in December 2017, she told police that Smith had tricked her father into giving Smith his Chevrolet Avalanche and his old Warr Acres home that Smith currently lives at.

According to court documents and county property records, the victim's home, valued at more than $122,000, was deeded to Smith in June 2011 for just one dollar. Police say there was no record of payment.

The Canadian County District Attorney filed civil seizure and forfeiture case last week for the Honda Accord and roughly $266,000 Oklahoma City Police  recovered from TFCU and Arvest Bank.

The court documents don't detail what investigators called "suspicious" transactions at Lowe's, Sam's Club, Cox, or AT&T, nor a value for the home, Chevrolet SUV or more than $5,000 in ATM withdrawals.