A Billings woman bilked more than $40,000 from an elderly former doctor with dementia by forging checks and stealing credit cards, according to charges filed this week.
Stephanie Nicole See, 40, was charged with 10 felonies, including six counts of forgery, one count of attempted theft and a count of exploitation of an older person.
An investigation that started two years ago revealed forged checks for hotel rooms and car payments, charges state. She also tried unsuccessfully to cash a $51,000 cashier's check made out to the doctor, according to court documents.
Investigators believe See may have been a medical caregiver at one time to Dr. Vernon Standish, who is 93. An Adult Protective Services caseworker first took a potential fraud complaint in 2015 after Standish reported several fraudulent checks written on his wife's account.
Standish suffered from dementia, according to court documents. He had a hard time with short-term memory and couldn't remember many interactions with See. He maintained throughout the investigation that he never gave her permission to use his checking accounts or credit cards, charges state.
Other members of Standish's family also reported suspicious behavior by See.
Evidence suggests that See even brought Standish to a payday loan business to try to cash a $51,361 cashier's check. The owner of the business, who knew Standish, was suspicious when See presented herself as the doctor's daughter-in-law, court documents state.
The owner of the payday loan business gave Standish a piece of paper while they were all there. Standish wrote on it: "I am Vernon Standish age 91 possible victim," according to court documents. Months later, he had a hard time recalling the incident to investigators, charges state.
The business owner never cashed the check for See.
Still, through interviews with businesses and Standish, as well as reviews of dozens of checks, Billings Police Department investigators determined that See took at least $40,952 in forged checks and unauthorized credit card purchases, according to charges.
Many of those checks were made out to See.
See was scheduled for an initial appearance in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Monday.