KIOW News reported in early February of a case being investigated by Clear Lake Police, where an elderly man was the victim of a fraud case. He had noticed that his bank account was missing funds that he knew he had not used. Police investigated the matter and were able to charge Steven Epsteen and Victoria Baumann of second degree theft.
The pair had fraudulently written checks on the victims account to various locations of which the majority were at a Wal-Mart in Mason City. The two then would return the merchandise bought with the forged checks and receive money back.
Epsteen was the victims caregiver and he reportedly forged nearly $14,000 in checks which he either kept the merchandise or services from or got refunds for. Baumann was also involved as she too resided with the victim and Epsteen.
Epsteen pleaded guilty to one count of on going criminal conduct and had the other four charges of first degree theft, unauthorized use of a credit card, and another count of ongoing criminal conduct dismissed as a part of the plea. Baumann was able to plea down to third degree theft. Her charges of ongoing criminal conduct and second degree theft were dismissed in her guilty plea. She will face two years probation.
Epsteen will be sentenced for his crime on May 19th.