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Plymouth man charged with theft for taking funds from victim's estate

Plymouth man charged with theft for taking funds from victim's estate Photo: Pixabay/MGN

Updated: October 07, 2019 11:43 AM

A Plymouth man has been charged with two counts of theft by swindle for taking funds from a victim's estate for which he was the executor.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said David Thomas Abele, 51, withheld money from a charitable organization to pay off his personal debt.

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A criminal complaint states Minneapolis police were notified by the founder of Smile Network International on Jan. 9. The victim's will stated that Smile Network was supposed to receive 50 percent of the estate, the attorney's office said. While it initially received about $1 million in cash and then got a check from the estate for $250,000 in 2014, Abele then told its board that the estate had been liquidated and the remaining assets were tied up in the victim's restaurant holdings.

Police reviewed the victim's financial records and saw Abele was withdrawing money from the estate's checking account after telling Smile Network that everything had been liquidated.

The attorney's office said the investigation revealed Abele took $85,500 from the estate.

On June 20, 2016, Abele admitted under oath during a divorce proceeding that he took money with the estate to help him with his personal debts, the attorney's office and criminal complaints said.

He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Nov. 26.

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