Springfield, Mo. -- (2/23/2018) Howard Edward Roberts, of Louisville, Kentucky was convicted on Friday by a Greene County Jury for financially exploiting Shirley Agee.
According to reports, Roberts made contact with Agee, who was in her mid-seventies and widowed, in November of 2013 but had moved in by January of 2014.
After discontinuing Agee’s home healthcare services and moving his ex-wife in as her caregiver, Roberts convinced Ms. Agee that his business, Maximum Performance Inc., was an up-and-coming supplement supplier that just needed investments. Roberts misrepresented to Agee that her investment of $250,000 was secured by stock in the company. Agee believed she was the sole investor and co-owner of the company despite the stock purchase agreement being fraudulent and worthless.
Roberts further convinced Agee to purchase multiple vehicles and equipment for him and the company ranging in price from $2500 to $43,000.
Witnesses at trial testified as to the changes in Agee’s demeanor and behavior following Roberts moving in and taking control of her lifestyle along with the validity of the stock agreement and Roberts’ failure to disclose material parts of the business and a federal bankruptcy.
The Greene County Prosecutor’s office encourages all citizens to be mindful and observant of individuals who may be reliant on others for day-to-day care. While all persons, of any age, may fall victim to scam artists, it is through the watchful eyes of friends, family and home healthcare workers that exploitation can be prevented to our most vulnerable citizens.
Roberts is subject to a sentence of 10 years to life in the Missouri Department of Corrections. A sentencing hearing has been set for May 25, 2018 following a sentencing assessment report by the Department of Probation and Parole.