Economic Crimes Arrest

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
- Economic Crimes Unit

Stephanie B. Bontempo (Arrested)
DOB: 03/08/1949
Address: 251 Bluff View Drive, Largo
Charges: One count of Exploitation of an Elderly or Disabled Adult

Samuel M. Bontempo (Arrested)
DOB: 12/11/1945
Address: 251 Bluff View Drive, Largo
Charges: One count of Exploitation of an Elderly or Disabled Adult

The victim is a 97-year-old woman. Per Florida Statute 415.107(1) no further information will be released that would tend to identify the victim.  

What:
Detectives assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit have arrested a man and a woman who they say exploited their elderly disabled mother and stole more than $300,000 from the victim.

When:
The investigation began in September of 2017.

The suspects were arrested on February 7, 2019.

Where:  
The investigation was conducted in Pinellas County.

Why/How:
Detectives assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit have arrested a man and a woman who they say exploited their elderly disabled mother and stole more than $300,000 from the victim.

According to detectives, their investigation began in September of 2017, after family members identified suspicious activity involving the financial portfolio of the victim who was 95-years-old at the time.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that the victim’s daughter, 69-year-old Stephanie Bontempo and her husband 73-year-old Samuel Bontempo, moved the elderly victim into their home back in 2013, after the victim was diagnosed with dementia and suffered a medical episode.    

Detectives say Stephanie and Samuel Bontempo agreed to provide full-time care and assistance to the victim and took over the victim’s finances. Medical records documented that the victim was disabled and lacked the capacity to consent shortly after moving in with the Bontempo’s. 

Evidence obtained by detectives revealed that over the course of four years, the Bontempo’s liquidated multiple retirement financial assets belonging to the victim, spent the victim’s monthly retirement checks as if it was their own, and spent money from the victim’s checking account for their own benefit.

Detectives also learned that the Bontempo’s used the victim’s identity to open new and re-establish existing credit cards, took out cash advances, and maxed out credit limits that damaged the victim’s credit.

Detectives say the Bontempo’s were living off the victim’s money and used some of the money to try and start new businesses. Detectives estimate the victim suffered a total financial loss of approximately $321,570.

On February, 8, 2019, detectives arrested Stephanie and Samuel Bontempo at the Sheriff’s Administration Building located at 10750 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

Stephanie and Samuel Bontempo were transported to the Pinellas County Jail. They were each charged with one count of Exploitation of an Elderly or Disabled Adult.

The investigation continues.


Booking photo for Stephanie Bontempo.


Booking photo for Samuel Bontempo. 

Posted by Spencer Gross Friday, February 8, 2019 12:58:00 PM Categories: Property Crimes

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