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.