Locals charged for elder exploitation, identity theft

Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

By Casey S. Elliott Dillon Tribune staff

Two Dillon residents were arrested last week for allegedly defrauding a local dentist and his wife.

Kristy Brown Staley, 60, and Kevin Roy Staley, 35, both of Dillon, were arrested April 21. Both appeared in Beaverhead County Justice Court April 22. They are out of jail on $50,000 bond, each.

Kristy Staley is charged with felony exploitation of an older person, incapacitated person, or person with developmental disability; felony theft and felony theft of identity. Kevin Roy Staley is charged with two counts of felony exploitation of an older person, incapacitated person, or person with developmental disability. They face up to a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail on the most serious charge.

The separate cases resulted from a Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) investigation that was recently sent to local law enforcement.

Kristy Staley is accused of defrauding and stealing from John and Nancy McCollum of Dillon, charging documents filed with the court stated. Kristy Staley, an employee of John McCollum’s dental practice for over 40 years, is alleged to have withdrawn an estimated $33,000 from the couple’s life insurance account in October 2015. Kristy Staley allegedly impersonated Nancy McCollum to withdraw the money; McCollum family members noticed the withdrawals, and alerted authorities after verifying with John McCollum that he did not request them. Nancy McCollum is unable to make financial decisions due to a medical condition.

McCollum family members also discovered allegedly fraudulent Amazon purchases made through John McCollum’s business credit card in 2018 and 2019, at an estimated cost of more than $1,500, the charging documents stated. Some of those purchases include running boards for a Chevy pickup, parts for a Polaris side-by-side, and meals at restaurants in several cities in Utah. Family members verified with John McCollum that he was in Idaho on the dates those charges were made, and does not own a Chevy pickup or Polaris side-by-side. Kristy Staley is on the credit card for purchases related to the dental practice, the charging documents stated.

Kevin Staley is accused of defrauding John McCollum by allegedly lowballing a property purchase proposal, and attempting to do so when John McCollum was unable to consent to the purchase, charging documents stated. Kevin Staley allegedly presented a buy-sell agreement for property McCollum owns in the West Fork area of Little Sheep Creek in November. The offer was an estimated 30-40% below fair market value for the property, compared to similar property recently under contract in that area. McCollum did not sign the proposal, as he believed the property was undervalued, the charging documents stated.

Kevin Staley allegedly presented the same proposal roughly a month later, while McCollum was recovering from a medical procedure and under heavy painkillers. McCollum did not sign that proposal either, and sent them to his attorney to review. The attorney advised him the agreements would have amounted to a “significant financial loss (estimated over a million dollars) if signed,” the charging documents stated.

The next court date has not yet been set.