Elderly neighbor unknowingly funded woman’s home improvements

A Centerville woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from an elderly, sick neighbor has been convicted in Houston County court.

A jury found Cheri E. Cox, 56, guilty of multiple counts exploitation of an elder person and financial transaction card fraud following a weeklong trial, county prosecutors said in a statement sent to local news outlets Monday.

Cox stole money from an 82-year-old who was suffering from dementia and used those funds to pay for personal expenses, according to the statement.

Cox was said to have used some of the victim’s money to make home improvements and to pay credit card bills.

Evidence showed she cashed saving bonds and received checks from the victim. A search of Cox’s house turned up $100,000 in a safe, the statement noted.

Cox has yet to be sentenced.

“Our elderly citizens are in need of special protection from those who seek to appropriate their resources for their own use,” Chief Assistant District Attorney Erikka Williams said in the statement.

“This is a man who had significant assets because he chose not to carelessly spend his money. Within weeks of Cheri Cox helping him, she turned him into her personal ATM machine. We are glad that we were able to get justice for this elderly victim.”

The victim is now living in an assisted-care facility and his finances are being handled by a conservator.

No trial date has been set for William M. Cox, who is accused using the victim’s money to pay off a credit card.

Stanley Dunlap: 478-744-4623, @stan_telegraph