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Daughter arrested for stealing from mom

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

A woman if facing six felony theft charges after police say she misappropriated nearly $45,000 from a trust fund set up to care for her mother, leaving the account nearly bankrupt, according to police reports.

Investigators say Stacie L. LeMaster pilfered money from the account since she became the account trustee when the account was set up in 2004. LeMaster used the account for her own use and benefit, even though the account was specifically set up to help her mother who was suffering from medical issues.

LeMaster used the account to put a down payment on a car, to pay for legal fees from bankruptcy, utility payments, a trip to Kentucky, utilities, gas and medical bills, including the largest sum which was a nearly $15,000 payment to a boyfriend she met on the internet, which LeMaster said ended up being a scam, according to police reports.

LeMaster said she befriended the man on a Facebook page set up as a support group for people who have medical conditions, and she said he flattered her and appealed to her emotions when he told her that he was a veteran oversees who just needed help getting back to America, according to police reports. She agreed to pay her mother back, but stopped keeping records after the first payment, police say.

Family members began to question LeMaster after her mother asked to withdraw $400 from the account but LeMaster reportedly said there was no more money.

LeMaster said her mother was always told about the purchases, and her mother did confirm that she authorized LeMaster to make a payment to “a friend” and other transactions, since LeMaster promised to pay it back. Her mother added, however, that she was not aware of all of the purchases her daughter made.

Officer Karl Shockome wrote that the mother “seemed completely dumbfounded and had no idea of most of the transactions mentioned,” according to police reports.

LeMaster is also accused of cashing checks from rental payments paid by a farmer who rents farmland from the family.

When police interviewed LeMaster, she reportedly said she currently has a fixed income since she’s on disability and unemployed, so she said with her medical conditions money has been scarce. She claimed that she “really never understood the exact workings of what she was agreeing to” when she was made trustee of the fund, according to police reports.

LeMaster posted bond, which was set at $9,000, 10 percent cash. Her pretrial conference is set for Jan. 15, 2019 at 8:30 a.m.