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Lawn Worker Accused Of Taking $450,000 From Client

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by FLAhaulboy, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. FLAhaulboy

    FLAhaulboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852


    OCALA, Fla. -- Authorities say a man who took care of a 94-year-old Ocala woman's lawn stole $450,000 from her.
    Marion County Sheriff's Office officials say 58-year-old Michael Charles Fluharty began working for the woman in 2008. He was booked into the Marion County Jail on Thursday and faces one count of exploitation of an elder person.
    Officials say Fluharty had the woman write him checks and give him loans over the years.
    According to detective Janeen Henley-Freeman, Fluharty took her money through checks, money transfers, debit card transactions and cash.
    An arrest affidavit says Fluharty coerced her into giving him power of attorney over her affairs. He also became her sole executor and beneficiary. The woman's name was not released.
    It was not immediately clear what led to his arrest.

    Idiot. I hope he gets a long prison sentence! Assign him to the prison mowing crew, they are only allowed to use push reel mowers:clapping:
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Crime against the Elderly is a big deal here in Florida and carries an extra heavy prison sentence. This case will be made an example of, give both the age of the victim and the amount of money involved.
  3. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I am not in Florida by no means, but Elderly exploitation is a real crime.....not only to the victim but unto society.
    I service quite a few elderly customers whom are so trusting that they will offer you any and all private items and numbers if a trust is established. I carry a large keyring full of gate keys, a black book filled full of garage numbers to gain access to their irrigation module.
    Trust is a big deal to me as these citizens have paid their dues in society and do deserve some respect............not neglect.
    I have read dozens of cases involving this kind of neglect as well as seen instances where all the bills are paid by someone they trust.

    What a stupid world we live in.
    If a person chooses to think that this is their only means of making a living.......then they need to be dealt with in the manner that was given.
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    As a Kid my mother had a very valuable diamond ring disappear. My father was in the Jewelry business. The only person in the house was our house keeper who my parents liked very much. But she bought a new RV camper soon after the ring disappeared worth a little less than the ring. So my parents let her go and never found an other housekeeper they liked...... Years later when my mother sold the house My brother-in-law and I FOUND THE RING.

    Now the moral is I will not accept Key of security codes to homes or private areas. I will accept common area keys or security codes. Any time I am inside a house doing Structural Pest Control I insist the customer accompanies me the whole time FOR MY PROTECTION. I am not about to steal anything and I sure don't want a stupid mistake like my mother dropping a ring behind a dresser to taint my reputation.
  5. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I only posses gate keys, codes into the carport's and garage's; respectfully, just to gain a simple point of interest.
    I do not go into a customer's home without their permission and accompaniment.
    I often get the old--Here is the key to my Mercedes Benz--just move it over and do your job. I never move vehicles, motorcycles, or any other personal article to do this job.

    The moral to this story: Don't place too much trust in someone whom you feel completely trustworthy. Human nature is to survive and no one really has your back. This relates to family also.
  6. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    I have keys to a few of my customers' businesses and homes. But, the estates I deal with (that I have keys to) are 2nd homes. It's convenient for them for me to have access (to allow subs/friends/etc...access). The businesses, I HAVE to have access. I am their total property manager for that facility.

    NO WAY I want keys to a home occupied by the homeowner full-time.

    My mom's been taken advantage of by incompetent contractors. She/we grew up with VERY little. And, it's hard as hell to get her to change her "cheaper is better" mentality. Now, her home is in my brother and my name. We don't worry about the aforementioned much, any more.

    I hope they make an example of this guy. He's a predator.
  7. LandscapemanFL

    LandscapemanFL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Now that is nuts. $450k. Very trusting lady.
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I will not even accept common security codes. I ask politely for them to get me my own code if I am not already in the neighborhood. The reason being is if the codes are able to be logged as who came and went, I want to ensure that if something shady goes down in the neighborhood like a home invasion or robbery etc.....if I was not working in the area I already eliminated myself from being looked at. Maybe a little paranoid, but I would not even like to think my company and my name would be investigated or doubted for one second if I can avoid it and by asking for my own code I do so. Most HOA's have not had a issue with it, a few fought it but I got my way.

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