June 16--A husband and wife accused of leaving the woman's mother with $115 after stealing at least $370,000 in savings, property and redeemed life insurance are wanted by St. Johns County authorities on charges of exploitation and fraud.
Teresa E. Oakes, 54, and Robert E. Oakes Jr., 55, of the 600 block of Vaill Point Road convinced her parents to share in the purchase of the house in 2008 without putting the older couple's name on the deed, according to the Sheriff's Office. The 86-year-old victim and her husband, who has since died, turned their finances over to the younger pair and also agreed to what they thought were investment changes.
Earlier this year the widow, who is not being named because she is a possible victim of elder exploitation, asked her daughter to return her finances to her after becoming suspicious about how they were being handled.
Instead, the victim was told she had to move because she was not paying rent and was not on the house deed, the report said.
Deputies called to the house since then have had to re-install porch lights that were removed and were told the victim, who lives in a guest house on the property, had to sleep with recently installed spotlights aimed at the house and was being monitored by security cameras.
The Oakes who left on vacation to visit family members were supposed to return to St. Augustine Friday but had not by Monday, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Kelshaw.
The Sheriff's Office report said about $282,000 in savings, $150,000 invested in the house and a $40,000 life insurance policy when the victim's husband died, were taken. Numerous deposits were recorded in accounts controlled by the Oakes, the report said.
A message left late Monday with an attorney representing the Oakes requesting comment was not immediately returned.
Dana Treen: (904) 359-4091
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