Mount Vernon, Ohio- A Knox County couple stole close to $750,000 in a few years from a relative’s estate, according to an investigation by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
Lisa Braniff, 59, of Mount Vernon, was charged this week with two counts of theft, each a felony of the first degree, and one count of forgery, a second-degree felony. Joseph Braniff, 63, of Mount Vernon, was charged with two counts of theft. It was a second-degree felony.
“Stealing from your own mom when she’s in a nursing home — what a wretched abuse of trust! A power of attorney is not a license for theft,” Yost said.
Lisa Braniff began handling her mother’s affairs in 2015. Shortly afterward, she and her husband started liquidating her mother’s assets.
Lisa Braniff was supposed to pay for her mom’s care at a Central Ohio nursing home, but she stopped paying. She owes the nursing home for years of caring for her.
Lisa Braniff is accused of using her mother’s money to fund a life of luxury, including purchasing a farm at 21419 Daniels Road in Mount Vernon.
Braniff’s mom who had severe dementia died alone in December from COVID-19.
The Knox County Prosecutor’s Office and Knox County Sheriff’s Office raided Braniff’s farm after the grand jury returned charges, and the court froze their assets.
Attorney General Yost has resources and guides for those at risk of elder abuse and/or financial exploitation. Any incidences should be reported to the Attorney General by calling 800-282-0515.