Financial Exploitation of Senior Draws Prison Term

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HONOLULU, HAWAII –The Honorable Judge Richard Pollack earlier this week sentenced an Oahu man to 6 months in prison for his part in a scam that cost an 84-year old Oahu man more than $200,000.

Joel Tacras, 55, of Waipahu, and his partner, Nora Bell, 46, of Ewa Beach, ran the “Classic Residential Care Home” on Hookele Street in Waianae.  The victim, who suffers from sustained age related dementia, entered the care home in 2004.  In April 2007, Bell and Tacras began to systematically withdraw cash from the victim’s bank accounts, and redeem his treasury bonds, all without his knowledge.   By July 2008, Bell and Tacras had taken nearly all of the victim’s savings and treasury bonds.


The case came to the attention of the Department of the Attorney General when certain wire transfers made by Bell caught the attention of American Savings Bank personnel, where the victim held his accounts.  The bank personnel notified Adult Protective Services, which reported the suspicious activity to the Department of the Attorney General.

Bell and Tacras were indicted last May.  In addition to his 6 month prison term, Tacras was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and must repay the victim $66,000.  Tacras will begin serving his prison term this weekend.  Bell faces sentencing for two counts of Theft in the First Degree and money laundering.  She will be sentenced on January 18, 2012 before Judge Pollack.

Attorney General David Louie issued the following statement:  “Criminals like this, who prey on our most vulnerable populations, will be held accountable for their actions.”  The case was investigated by Terrence Miyasato and Prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Gary Senaga of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.


Submitted by the attorney general