A Sparks man must spend at least four years in prison for gambling away the savings of a 91-year-old woman whom he cared for after her husband died.
42-year-old Lee Mack was sentenced Friday to four to 10 years in
prison and ordered to pay 155-thousand dollars in restitution after
earlier pleading guilty to a count of attempted exploitation of the elderly.
State Elder Protective Services officials say it was the worst case of such exploitation investigated in Nevada.
Mack met the woman and her husband in 2004 when he gave them
rides to their doctor offices as a taxi driver. After the woman's
husband died in 2005, Mack moved into her Sparks home to care for
Deputy District Attorney Roy Stralla estimates Mack took 250,000 dollars from the trusting woman by having her write checks for cash almost daily.
Mack maintained he loved the victim and didn't mean to hurt her, but he had a gambling problem.
Stralla says the woman suffers from a slight case of dementia, and her savings have been cleaned out.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)