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Oshkosh man charged with stealing thousands from 92-year-old woman

Gavel on sounding block
Gavel on sounding block(Source: Gray News)
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 1:00 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - A 62-year-old Oshkosh man has been charged in connection to the theft of more than $400,000 from a 92-year-old nursing home resident, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

The DOJ identified the man as Terry Lynn Culver. On Sept. 11, criminal charges were filed in Winnebago County as a result of a joint elder abuse and tax fraud investigation by the DOJ and Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

In total, Culver is accused of removing $427,727 from the victim’s bank accounts without her consent.

A criminal complaint filed in Winnebago County says a DOJ investigation was opened in January 2019 based on a complaint that Culver had stolen funds from the victim. The complaint says Culver stole the money through loans to himself and his business through cash payable checks endorsed to him.

The complaint states Culver used the money for home improvement items, a car, vehicle expenses, furniture, and appliances. He’s also accused of spending thousands of dollars on personal travel and gaming at casinos.

The complaint states Culver has known the victim since he was nine-years-old. Culver did snow removal and lawn care for the victim before she was placed in a nursing home in February 2013.

In March 2013, the victim signed a form that named Terry Culver as her Power of Attorney.

In May 2013, Culver sold the victim’s lakefront property in Waushara County and collected more than $195,000. Culver was listed as the seller as Power of Attorney for the victim. Money from the sale was deposited into the victim’s bank account.

In June 2013, $150,000 was transferred from the victim’s checking account into her saving’s account.

In July 2013, the Department of Health Services was notified that Terry Culver would be renting property from the victim. However, no regular rent payments were made by Culver after 2014.

In November 2014, the Culvers' home was foreclosed and they moved into the victim’s home on Fisk Ave.

In January 2016, Culver and his wife took possession of the victim’s Fisk Ave. home through a Quit Claim Deed. That’s a document that allows a seller to transfer property to someone else. They’re often done when transferring property between family members or spouses.

Adult Protective Services started an investigation after a bank employee raised concerns.

In 2018, Culver’s position as Power of Attorney was terminated through a court proceeding and a guardian was appointed to the victim’s estate.

Investigators reviewed the victim’s bank records and found what they called “suspicious transactions” between March 2013 and August 2018.

In one instance, Culver wrote $145,700 worth of the victim’s checks with a memo line reading “Loan.” He wrote the checks either to himself or his business, ANK Farms, according to the complaint.

Culver also wrote checks for $131,278 in checks for “items for himself or his wife” and not for the benefit of the victim, according to the complaint.

Culver wrote checks totaling $113,600 to “cash” and cashed them by endorsing the back. The complaint says there is no record of repayment for these checks.

Records show $20,075 in cash withdrawals from the victim’s account during the time she was in the nursing home and unable to make withdrawals. The complaint says Culver was the only other person authorized to make withdrawals from the account. Again, there is no record of repayment.

Records also show $17,074 in withdrawals from the victim’s savings account during this time. Once again, Culver was the only other person authorized to make the withdrawals while the victim was confined to the nursing home.

Culver’s wife told investigators that they took over the woman’s home and described it as “trashed.” She said they needed to buy appliances and clean it out. The wife stated that they used the victim’s money for the appliances. She did admit that Terry “borrows” money from the victim to pay for farming equipment and “upkeep.”

Investigators spoke with the victim, who said she didn’t know what a Quit Claim Deed was and denied signing one or giving her house to anyone. She said she wanted to house sold and the money from the sale to go to charity foundations and organizations.

Terry Culver is also charged with filing false tax returns for five years.

Culver’s initial court appearance in Winnebago County is scheduled for Oct. 12.

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