Freeburg couple sentenced after defrauding family member of nearly $200K

Freeburg couple sentenced after defrauding family member of nearly $200K

FREEBURG, IL — An elderly Freeburg couple has been sentenced to home confinement after they pleaded guilty to defrauding an elderly family member out of nearly $200,000.

Ronald Speiser [SPY-SIR], 81, and Jean Speiser, 81, will spend their next year in home confinement making restitution. The Speisers pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud.

According to Court documents, they were designated as the victim’s power of attorney and successor power of attorney in the victim’s estate plan.

In June 2018, the Speisers exercised their authority over the victim’s finances by opening an account at Citizens Community Bank in Mascoutah, and depositing a check for over $250,000 after selling the victim’s home.

Starting around December 2018, and continuing until at least June 2020, the Speisers abused their access  to  these  funds  by  spending  over  $200,000  of  the  victim’s money  without  the  victim’s knowledge or permission, and for purposes that did not benefit the victim.

Their spending spree included over $50,000 in personal home renovations, paying over a year’s worth of personal credit card bills, purchasing a new camper and new truck, and making a down payment and thirteen mortgage payments on a second home.

While on home confinement, the Speisers will be restricted to their residence except for religious services, medical appointments, and other pre-approved activities.

Their sentence also included an additional year of supervised release after home confinement and paying full restitution to the victim.  

The  Speisers  paid  the  victim  an  initial  lump  sum  of  $119,000  as  part  of  their  plea agreement. They will pay the remainder in monthly installments.

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