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April 10--He was supposed to be safeguarding his great aunt's money but, instead, a 42-year-old Knox County man confessed Wednesday to ripping her off.
Mark Kevin Tudor pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to wire fraud for a nearly four-years-long scheme to bilk his great aunt, who is identified in court records only by her initials, of thousands of dollars.
Tudor appeared with his defense attorney, Donald A. Bosch, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton to be arraigned on the charge after agreeing to skip a grand jury review. He then immediately pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves, who set an Aug. 27 sentencing hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Morris said Tudor had been granted power-of-attorney over his great aunt's finances in 2009. Beginning in July of that year, Tudor began stealing from his great aunt's various bank accounts and, last year, withdrew $30,000 from a life insurance policy without her knowledge, Morris said.
"(Tudor) devised a scheme to defraud in order to obtain money and property, which involved making unauthorized purchases with or withdrawal of funds from the victim's bank and credit union accounts, life insurance policy and credit card accounts without the victim's permission or authorization," Morris said.
Court records indicate his thievery was discovered in May 2013. Morris did not list a total amount of loss to the victim.
The case was investigated by a special unit formed by the U.S. attorney's office that focuses on identity theft.
Wendy Boles, a U.S. Postal inspector, and Richard Giammarino, a Knoxville Police Department investigator, headed up the probe. Both are assigned to the identity theft task force.
Tudor is being allowed to remain free pending sentencing.
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