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Man charged after elderly woman defrauded of $136K

A man has died following a single vehicle crash in southwest London Monday night. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

An elderly woman has been defrauded of more than $130,000 by a neighbour she grew to believe was her friend, police allege.

Police say the woman, who’s in her 80s, was befriended by a neighbour in 2015. He slowly gained her trust over the next year and a half by helping with errands and repairs around her home. The man was eventually entrusted with her bank documents.

Officers say the man used the documents to gain access to all of the woman’s accounts. He then opened several credit cards in her name.

They say the man was added as a secondary card holder and was given power of attorney for her property.

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London police were contacted by a family member, who noticed unusual transactions in June.

Following a three-month investigation, 50-year-old Mark Donald Burrows of London has been charged with six offences,  including two counts of fraud over $5,000.

“These allegations are false. My lawyer has instructed me not to comment. I hate when things are said in media then proven false. But the damage to my name is too late,” said Burrows, in a brief written statement to 980 CFPL.

Mark Donald Burrows
Mark Donald Burrows. Facebook

Police say the woman was defrauded of $136,469 between Jan. 1 and Sept. 29 of this year.

Financial fraud is said to be the fastest growing form of elder and vulnerable person abuse. It’s when someone illegally or improperly uses a vulnerable senior’s money or other property. Police say it often goes unreported.

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Information on how to protect yourself or your loved ones can be found under the Crime Prevention section of the LPS website.

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