EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A St. Francisville man is behind bars after officials say he spent money from his elderly mother's estate without her permission after being granted power of attorney.
Officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office say back on March 5, the victim, a 79-year-old woman, contacted them about a theft complaint. She says her son, identified as Dwayne Belello, 58, was stealing money from her without her permission.
In October of 2016, the victim granted Belello power of attorney and he was added to two of her bank accounts. After being added to the accounts, Belello reportedly began making debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals, and writing checks without the victim's permission. The victim says these purchases did not benefit her in any way.
Officials say Belello also purchased a vehicle by forging his mother's signature on a check. In total, Belello reportedly forged his mother's signature on 16 checks and made purchases and withdrawals totaling $32,281.70 in East Baton Rouge Parish. It should be noted other fraudulent activity also occurred in neighboring parishes.
On March 21, deputies met with the victim, who confirmed her signature had been forged on the 16 checks in question. The victim also said her son forged her signature on two documents that had been notarized. She says she did not give Belello permission to do this and was not present when the documents were notarized, which the notary confirmed.
Officials say Belello has an extensive criminal background involving multiple financial crimes.
Belello was arrested on Thursday, November 30 and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. He is charged with exploitation of persons with infirmities, forgery, access device fraud, and theft.