MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 70-year-old South St. Paul woman is accused of using her control over her mother’s finances to steal more than $60,000 over several years to cover bills and support a gambling habit.

Paulette Elizabeth Carlson was charged via summons Tuesday with eight counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and three counts of transaction fraud, court documents filed in Dakota County show. Carlson is slated to appear in court on April 17.

According to a criminal complaint, Carlson gained Power of Attorney over her mother’s affairs in 1999. A decade later, she began writing checks to herself, amounting to several thousand dollars a year.

In 2013, Carlson started making ATM withdrawals from her mother’s account, the criminal complaint states. By the following year, she was draining the account to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

In 2015, Carlson was confronted by family members concerned about her mother’s finances. An investigation followed, showing that Carlson, who lives at an adult care facility, was not using the money for her mother’s care or benefit.

Instead, Carlson told investigators she was using the money to pay her own bills and gamble.

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