He’d known this couple for at least a decade, gaining their trust and friendship, before he took advantage of them at the cost of $100,000, St. Pete police say.
Charles Brian Kleinmetz, 52, was arrested and charged with exploitation of the elderly or disabled adult Thursday.
Detectives say Kleinmetz was the couple’s insurance agent and was friends with them, and sold the couple an insurance policy that wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of assisted living care. Eventually, the husband was diagnosed with dementia and needed the care of an assisted living facility.
According to police, Kleinmetz helped the couple cash in a $205,000 life insurance annuity to pay for the cost of the assisted living facility. Once the husband was placed in the facility’s care, Kleinmetz forged a deeper friendship with the wife and provided help with daily activities and assisted with her personal needs. Detectives say he was so involved in the wife’s life he could be considered a caretaker.
He then helped the wife open a bank account that she believed was only going to be used to care for her husband. Then, over the course of a two-month period, Kleinmetz convinced the woman to write him two checks for a large amount of money. Detectives say the woman didn’t understand the implications of what she was doing when she wrote the checks.
Money from the first check was to a business Kleinmetz was a partner in. Detectives say the business partners didn’t know the circumstances under which Kleinmetz obtained the check because he presented it to them as a loan from a private investor.
The second check was written to a business Kleinmetz personally owned. Detectives say he put himself in a position of trust and confidence to take advantage of a person who was vulnerable at his personal gain, and her financial loss.
When the crime was reported to St. Pete police, Kleinmetz had taken a total of $100,000 from the wife.
Detectives say while this husband and wife are the only people known to have been exploited by Kleinmetz, the department is asking anyone who may have had a similar experience to contact St. Pete police at 727-893-7780. Police are still investigating this case.
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