A Florida couple was charged with theft after allegedly scamming a homeless veteran out of his life savings of more than $50,000 and leaving him suicidal over the loss.
DeLand, Florida, Police say Jessica Henry, 31, and Gregory Dushan, 28, bilked an 82-year-old veteran of the Coast Guard out of his life savings and used the money to fuel their drug habit, Fox News reported.
Police became involved when the veteran called the Veterans Crisis Center and said he was on the verge of suicide after his bank account was found empty. The center called the police to report the matter.
The veteran who has not been named publicly told police he met Jessica Henry several years ago and began giving her small amounts of cash when she told him she could not afford to feed her children or afford to transport them to school.
The bilking, though, allegedly kicked into high gear when the woman told the veteran that she needed $350 every day to pay for drug tests as part of her probation from a drug arrest. Gregory Dushan entered the scene claiming to be the woman’s probation officer, police said.
Dushan then began demanding that the veteran hand over amounts up to $1,000, claiming that Henry would go to jail unless the money was forthcoming. Dushan also threatened to confiscate the veteran’s car and even took possession of the vehicle at one point.
Henry and Dushan were ultimately arrested and charged with exploiting an elderly person between amounts of $20,000 and $100,000. Dushan was also hit with separate charges of impersonating a probation officer. And more charges could be in the offing, police said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.