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Business Observer Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015 7 years ago

Police: Sarasota CPA stole $200K from 92-year-old

Authorities say suspect made withdrawals from victim's bank at ATMs in casinos.

SARASOTA — A Sarasota County CPA has been charged in a theft case where authorities contend he stole nearly $200,000 from a 92-year-old client who was incapacitated and in an assisted living facility.

Brian Strand, 53, of Osprey, was charged with one count of Exploitation of the Elderly, according to a release from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. Strand, the release says, is a self-employed CPA.

The sheriff's office began an investigation, the release states, after Sabal Palm Bank in Sarasota notified the department about suspicious ATM transactions on the account of the 92-year-old woman. Strand, police say, was the woman's CPA and later became the successor of her trust account.

In total, authorities allege Strand withdrew $195,592 from the woman's Sabal Palm account and another account at SunTrust Bank. Many of the transactions and withdrawals were made at casinos in Tampa and Immokalee. Strand, the release states, also drew checks from he account.

The investigation revealed Strand's transactions dated back to 2011 and continued through August 2014, when the bank became suspicious of the activity, according to the Sherriff's office. Strand turned himself in Wednesday to authorities and was being held in the Sarasota County Jail on $20,000 bond.

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