FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Broward woman and her boyfriend are accused stealing thousands of dollars from an elderly Pompano Beach woman.
Peggy Sue Chormicle, 50, and Kelvin Butler, 52, have been charged with exploitation of the elderly, grand theft and fraud.
Chormicle was the caretaker for 88-year old Delores Farquharson. The couple is accused of writing checks on the woman’s account and using her debit and credit cards to steal more than $20,000.
Dorthy Mecklenburg is a neighbor who is now in charge of Farquharson’s affairs. She said they close for years but had no idea what was going on.
“She gave her a roof over her head,” said Mecklenburg. “She even did will her the house. For her to do something like this is horrible.”
Not only did Chormicle steal from her charge, she also turned Farquharson’s home into a house of filth. Mecklenburg said she went to Farquharson’s home after the couple was arrested and was shocked by what she saw. She said the rooms were so stuffed with junk there was virtually no room to move inside. There were also dog droppings on the floor.
“In order to enter a room you had to pull boxes out your way because it was just filled with debris,” said Mecklenburg.
Mecklenburg said Farquharson’s phone had been cut off and the window cranks were missing so they could not be opened. She said Chormicle cut off Farquharson from the world.
“You don’t do that to another human being,” said Mecklenburg. “You don’t do that to somebody you took in, you befriended.”
Farquharson now lives in an assisted living facility. With her failing health and not enough money left to pay for health care, she will never be able to return to her home.
During Chormicle’s appearance in bond court on Wednesday, Circuit Judge John Hurley pointed out this is not the first time she’s been charged with theft and fraud.
“The court notes that you’ve been convicted of some form of theft, let’s see, five, six, seven, eight times, either petty theft of uttering a forged instrument,” said Hurley.
During Butler’s appearance, Hurley noted he too had a record.
“The court notes that you’ve been convicted of theft and grand theft in the past, burglary twice, you’ve gone to prison at least three or four times for cocaine, you’ve been declared a habitual offender in the past,” said Hurley.
But it was Chormicle’s history that got the judge’s attention.
“Theft has been seven times, tampering with evidence twice, battery, marijuana, uttering a forged instrument, prostitution, so you have a history of taking things that don’t belong to you. On its face, it looks like you’ve been at it again,” Hurley told Chormicle.
Hurley set bond at $21,000 each for Chormicle and Butler.