Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

May 3, 2013

Accused deny involvement in purported car swindle

TRAVERSE CITY — Authorities accused two Traverse City sisters of making a $7,000 profit after they conned an elderly woman who suffers from dementia out of her car, though one of the accused denied the allegations.

Kandee Sheffer, 56, and Gloria Schroeder, 61, each face a felony charge of embezzling from a vulnerable adult, according to 86th District Court records.

Sheffer said the charges are based on false information.

“This is crazy,” Sheffer said. “It’s the first we’ve heard of it.”

Schroeder is a neighbor of the victim, 92. She arranged for the victim to sell her 2006 Ford Taurus to Sheffer for $1,000. Sheffer then sold the vehicle to another person for $8,000, court records state.

“That’s a good profit margin,” Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Department Capt. Dave Meachum said.

Deputies began investigating the sales after a Michigan Department of Human Services employee noticed the victim’s Taurus was missing during a November home visit.

The suspects told investigators the Taurus’ poor condition warranted a low selling price.

But the final buyer will testify the car was in excellent condition, and was advertised as such according to court records.

Sheffer said Schroeder had nothing to do with the transaction. Schroeder declined comment for this article.

State law defines a vulnerable adult as any individual over the age of 18 who requires special care because of age, disability or mental illness, or who lacks the personal and social skills required to live independently.

Schroeder faces up to five years imprisonment if convicted of the crime.

Sheffer could face a longer sentence if convicted, based on previous convictions for welfare fraud in 1985 and retail fraud in 1995.

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