County’s Worst Case of Theft: Caregiver Steals $1 Million

John Friedlund was a Washington State caregiver, who received a 10-year prison sentence earlier this month for stealing $1 million from a 107 year old woman, Frances Swan, 107. She was found living in feces and utter squalor, as her supposed caregiver had spent her funds to purchase tractors, horse trailers and over 300 guns.

John Herbert Friedlund gets 10 yr prison sentence for elder abuse/theft.

Stevens County Deputy Prosecutor Leah Radzimski described John Herbert Friedlund’s acts as “…the worst instance of theft and abuse we’ve had in the county. Six officers said the home was the worst they’d ever seen.”

Friedlund, 79, was sentenced by Stevens County Superior Court Judge Al Nielson, a day after jurors convicted him of first-degree theft.

He had resided at a ranch near Kettle Falls, roughly 210 miles northeast of Seattle. For four years, he was given the responsibility as caregiver to Ms. Swan. During those four years, he stole money from her retirement account, according to Radzimski.He spent the $1 million on 300 to 400 guns and other items such as tractors and horse trailers, Radzimski said.

Ms. Swan was bedridden in a back room of her feces strewn Kettle Falls home. Deputies discovered her in May 2011. She begged them for food.  The only food found at her place was rotten, and the garbage had stacked so high with filth that it reached the ceiling.

She now lives in a nursing home.

In early October 2012, a jury convicted Friedlund of theft with two aggravating circumstances – violation of the victim because of her vulnerability and his position of fiduciary responsibility over her.

As unbelievable as stories like these are, we are finding them more common. If you believe that someone you love is the victim of elder abuse, contact an attorney. Kevin Coluccio has represented numerous elder abuse victims and their family members, finding justice against those negligent in their care of some of our most vulnerable citizens.

About Kevin
Kevin Coluccio was recently named one of the Top 10 Super Lawyers in Washington State. He has long history of successful elder abuse/neglect cases and has a stellar reputation for getting results for his injury clients in serious car crashes, pedestrian accidents, trucking accidents, maritime claims, and asbestos injury cases.