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Florida man charged in multi-million dollar elder fraud scheme

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – A Florida man has been indicted for exploiting an elderly Jefferson County resident with dementia and taking more than two million dollars from him.

Samuel Kristofer Bunner, age 50, of Spring Hill, Florida, has been charged with wire and bank fraud, identity theft and money laundering. According to the indictment, Bunner befriended the victim while they were both working at the American Legion in Charles Town. The victim had cognitive impairment and Bunner began assisting with his medical appointments. Bunner then accompanied the victim to a law firm, where the victim made Bunner his power of attorney and gave him the ability to control his financial accounts. Over a two-year period, Bunner enriched himself by selling the victim’s real estate, emptying investment and bank accounts, and opening a credit card in the victim’s name. Bunner and his wife purchased real estate, motor vehicles, and luxury items, along with taking vacations.

“This is a sad story about someone who worked hard his whole life, saved his money, and then when he began to suffer from cognitive decline, had everything stolen by an opportunist,” said United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld. “We will continue to do everything we can to protect older West Virginians from schemes such as this.”

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and it is ongoing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eleanor Hurney is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

The Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida and FBI-Tampa assisted with the matter.

If you know of an elderly person who has been the victim of financial fraud, please contact the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311) or send an email to wvfraud@fbi.gov.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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