BISBEE – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a jury convicted Edith and James Hughes of multiple felony counts involving financial exploitation of an 86 year old woman. They were both found guilty of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Theft from a Vulnerable Adult, Misuse of a Credit Card, and Unlawful Use of Power of Attorney.
Within 60 days of meeting the victim, Edith Hughes acquired complete financial and physical control of the victim while working as her caregiver in 2014. Edith Hughes and her husband James were also named 80% beneficiaries of the victim’s estate. A review of the victim’s bank records showed that she lived frugally and spent very little each month. The amount taken from her accounts after the defendants took over her financial accounts was 6.5 times greater than previously spent. Records also showed the victim’s money paid for family trips for the defendants, truck payments, and thousands of dollars in groceries, gas, and other living expenses.
Edith Hughes was arrested when she tried to intervene in a psychological evaluation of the victim. The victim was deemed vulnerable to financial exploitation and a Cochise County Judge granted a conservatorship to the Cochise County Public Fiduciary’s office to assist the victim in her financial affairs. The victim currently is happy and well-settled in an assisted living facility.
Edith Hughes faces a sentence up to 47.5 years in prison. Her sentencing is set for September 15, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. before the Honorable Wallace Hoggatt in Bisbee, AZ.
James Hughes faces a sentence up to 88.1 years in prison. His sentencing is set for October 14, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. before the Honorable Wallace Hoggatt in Bisbee, AZ.
Assistant Attorney General Douglas Clark prosecuted this case.