MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Nashwauk man has been charged with stealing over a million dollars from his uncle who was suffering from dementia.

Patrick Vincent Pecchia, 56, has been charged with one count of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

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According to the criminal complaint, officials received a report of thefts from a vulnerable adult in February, 2012 from the adult in question’s nephew.

The nephew told authorities that his uncle had suffered from Alzheimer’s and he was concerned that his uncle’s other nephew, later identified as Pecchia, had been taking money from him.

Further investigation found that the uncle had given power of attorney to Pecchia on April 16, 2007.

A BCA agent conducting the investigation noted that as of April 16, 2007 the uncle’s assets totaled $1,890,906.28. Prior to his death, Pecchia had transferred $1,810,583.24 of the assets out.

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According to the criminal complaint, over the course of four years Pecchia used his uncle’s money to pay his credit card bills, purchase large equipment for his work, obtain personal loans and other various expenses. Some of these included gambling debts.

Investigation into the uncle’s medical records showed that he would not have been able to travel to gamble, but Pecchia claimed he took him. Pecchia did admit to gambling himself, but claimed he used his own money.

After his uncle’s death, Pecchia cashed out the remaining money in three separate beneficiary checks written to Pecchia and his two sons. However, these checks were then used to open a new account in Pecchia’s name.

The court sentenced Pecchia to 72 months in prison, but stayed execution of the sentence and placed him on 20 years of supervised probation on multiple conditions. One condition included serving one year in jail and paying $871,677.09 in restitution.

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Pecchia is currently being held in the Itasca County Jail.