A Wheeling lawyer is accused of stealing more than $180,000 over a six-month period from an elderly woman in a nursing home.
Michael Alberty, 57, is charged with theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking and misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial.
According to our CBS sister station KDKA, the alleged victim is an 87-year-old woman who had been staying at a Pittsburgh-area nursing home.
Alberty was originally called by the victim for help on her estate plan and a home restoration project. The victim hoped her house would be handicap ready when she returned home.
Police say Alberty instructed the victim to sign 33 checks.
According to police, he told her the payments were for construction workers who were remodeling her home. However, $180,470 of the victim’s money was paid to Alberty’s account.
Alberty has a law office in Wheeling.
KDKA reports that Alberty told an auditor that he was paid as a construction consultant and personal assistant. Police say he charged the elderly woman $100 an hour and billed her for 52 hours a week. At one point he reportedly told the auditor that the victim was a millionaire and that she could afford this.
Alberty’s bail was set at $50,000 and a preliminary hearing was set for March 8, 2017.