Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Two charged with $25K elder abuse


Two people face charges that, one after another, they took a total of more than $25,000 from an elderly woman who asked them to help her with her finances.

Eric D. Frickel and Trina R. Frickel face separate cases alleging each, at separate times, took thousands of dollars the elderly woman had asked them to help her manage and to use to pay her bills.

The woman had not asked charges be filed against either Frickel, whose ages and relationship to each other was not available. Both were charged after separate referrals of possible elder abuse were made to the state’s Adult Protective Services, a charging document says.

Arrest warrants on each had not been returned to the Hill County Clerk of Court’s office as of this morning.

According to the document, Adult Protective Services received a referral Jan. 2, 2013, alleging Eric Frickel had exploited the woman and a referral Oct. 2, 2013, reporting Trina Frickel had exploited her.

According to the document, the woman asked Eric Frickel to help her pay her bills due to her failing eyesight. She put him on her checking account in June 2012.

After she found out he had taken thousands of dollars for his personal use, she closed that account and opened a new checking and savings account Oct. 31, 2012, adding Trina Frickel to the account, the document says.

A witness said the alleged victim regularly talked about the two taking her money. The witness also said that Eric Frickel had stopped visiting her, and Trina Frickel came to see her Oct. 7, 2013, after the investigation into the elder abuse referral began, and was quite angry with the elderly woman.

The woman said in December 2013 that she was giving Eric Frickel time to pay the money back, and after Trina Frickel’s Oct. 7, 2013, visit refused to let the investigation go any further, the document says.

Trina Frickel has stopped visiting the woman and does not “have anything to do” with her now, a court the document says the witness told investigators.

According to the charges, Eric Frickel withdrew cash from the woman’s account and used two debit cards for the account, but not belonging to the woman, to make purchases or cash advances, including one $24.99 charge made Feb. 4, 2013, months after the woman took him off of her account. The 37 transactions he is accused of making total $12,971.74.

Trina Frickel is accused of making 66 transactions including taking cash from the woman’s savings and checking accounts and using debit cards, and possibly writing two checks. The total Frickel is accused of taking without the woman’s permission is $11,105.18.


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