PIERRE, S.D. - An Astoria man was sentenced last week to serve 5 years in prison for stealing money from his parents. Larry Lee Brinkman, 65, pled guilty in October to one count of Grand Theft. Circuit Court Judge Ronald K. Roehr also ordered Brinkman to pay more than $140,000.00 in restitution to the victims' estate.
"The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit helps to protect vulnerable adults," said Attorney General Larry Long. "We prosecute these cases to send the message that we will not tolerate financial exploitation."
Brinkman received checks from his father to pay his father's bills. Brinkman diverted these checks to other purposes, including video lottery. Brinkman also used his status as Power of Attorney for his father's financial affairs to withdraw money from his father's accounts. "Families should openly discuss financial arrangements for their elderly relatives," Long said. "It may also be helpful to seek advice from professionals to avoid financial exploitation."
The case was investigated and prosecuted by the South Dakota Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with assistance from Deuel County law enforcement. Anyone who has concerns about exploitation or abuse of elders may contact local law enforcement, the South Dakota Department of Social Services, or the South Dakota Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in Pierre by phone at (605) 773-4102, or by email, ATGMedicaidFraudHelp@state.sd.us.