HIGHLAND, Utah (ABC4) — A Highland woman was charged Tuesday for allegedly stealing retirement money from her elderly father to pay for international flights, cosmetic surgeries, and more.
Athena Crane Monson, 54, was charged Tuesday, May 9, with nine counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a 2nd-degree felony, and communications fraud, a 2nd-degree felony.
Monson stole approximately $275,492 from her elderly father’s bank account over the course of nearly a year. According to her father, he was unaware she was taking the money.
The investigation began after Adult Protective Services told officials they believed that she was defrauding her father. After the elderly man’s wife passed away, Monson reportedly got Power of Attorney over her dad’s financials to help him but instead stole thousands from him.
Monson reportedly stole money both from his retirement funds, as well as from a reverse mortgage. The elderly man said he agreed to the reverse mortgage because Monson promised him they would get money from it. However, the elderly man told police he was not aware of what happened to any of the money obtained through his reverse mortgage.
The stolen money was used for travel, surgical arts, hotels, ATM withdrawals, as well as Venmo transactions. When officials asked the elderly man if he had a Venmo account, he told them he didn’t know what Venmo was.
Monson was arrested as she was returning from the Dominican Republic via Delta Airlines. According to the affidavit, Monson often used the money to purchase flight tickets through Delta.