MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 51-year-old Plymouth man is accused taking thousands of dollars from a victim’s estate that was owed to a charity to pay off his own debts.
David Abele faces two counts of theft by swindle for allegedly taking money from the victim’s estate for which he was the executor.
According to the criminal complaint, Minneapolis police on Jan. 9 received a report from the founder of Smile Network International, which is a charitable organization that the deceased named as a beneficiary of the estate.
In the victim’s will, Smile Network International was supposed to receive 50% of the estate. The organization initially received $1 million in cash payments, and then a check from the estate for $250,000 in February 2014. Then, in May 2015, Abele told the charity that the victim’s estate had been liquidated, with the victim’s remaining assets tied up in the victim’s restaurant holdings. Smile Network received a final payment of $7,500 in February 2016.
In a police investigation of the victim’s financial records, it was discovered that Abele was withdrawing money from the estate’s checking account – after informing Smile Network that everything had been liquidated.
The investigation learned he took $85,500 from the victim’s estate. On June 20, 2016, Abele admitted under oath during divorce proceeding to taking money from the estate to pay for personal debts
Abele is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Nov. 26.