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Elder abuse: Judge rejects fraudster Michael David Bolton’s ‘inheritance’ claim

by David Clarkson, Stuff, 7 November 2016

Mr Clarkson reports on another case of elder financial abuse.

A judge says a man’s explanation for raiding nearly $75,000 from an 80-year-old’s bank account “lacks reality”. 

Christchurch District Court Judge John Strettell said Michael David Bolton’s explanation for the series of frauds did not stand up to scrutiny “in the cold hard light of day”.

Bolton’s defence counsel, Tom Smedley, said his client took the money from the account for associates who told him it was their inheritance.

The judge jailed Bolton for 17 months on Monday on charges of dishonestly using the bank card and cultivating cannabis and ordered him to pay the money back to the bank.

The elderly victim suffered considerable distress, the judge said, but the bank decided he should be recompensed for his losses so the debt was now owed to the bank.

Bolton obtained the man’s bank card and PIN number and used the card 77 times around the North Island in March to obtain goods and cash totalling $74,262. Bolton said the proceeds went to the associates and he obtained only about $500 for himself.

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