Montana man sentenced for financial exploitation of elderly mother in Chippewa County
West Central Tribune (Willmar, MN)
Nov. 01--MONTEVIDEO -- A man convicted of stealing from his mother's estate while she was evicted from her nursing home was ordered to pay restitution in the case.
Michael Scott Christie, 63, of Lame Deer, Montana, was sentenced Tuesday to jail time and more than $40,000 in restitution. He had earlier pleaded guilty to two felony charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, his mother who had lived in Clarkfield.
Christie was granted a stay of imposition of his sentence in Chippewa County District Court. That means the convictions could be reduced to misdemeanors on his criminal record if he successfully completes probation.
He was ordered to serve 72 days in the Chippewa County Jail with credit for 48 days already served. He was also ordered to serve five years of probation. The probation comes with a number of conditions, including not serving in any fiduciary capacity while on probation.
Christie was ordered to pay restitution, fines and court fees totaling $42,737.70. The total is due in six months.
Christie's wife, Martina Annette Christie, 61, faces 12 felony charges for alleged financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
The couple was accused of exploiting Christie's mother's estate for $340,000. She died in February 2015 and had been evicted from the Clarkfield Care Center for non-payment in late 2014. She had accumulated over $72,000 in expenses.
The couple allegedly used more than $40,000 of her financial resources for their own lifestyles. Court documents also alleged that Michael Christie transferred two parcels of Chippewa County farmland worth a combined $300,000 to Martina Christie for consideration of less than $500.
The criminal complaint says Michael and Martina Christie paid the Care Center only $200 during that period, while they spent over $6,000 on clothing for themselves and wrote themselves $6,000 worth of checks.
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