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DeWitt Man Arrested, Charged on Financial Elder Abuse
June 02, 2023
LANSING – Today, Peter Counseller, 56, of DeWitt, was arraigned before Judge Lisa Babcock in the 54B District Court in East Lansing on one count of Embezzlement by an Agent in excess of $100,000, one count of Embezzlement from a Vulnerable Adult in excess of $100,000, and two counts of filing false tax returns for an alleged elder abuse scheme, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Each embezzlement count is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Counseller is alleged to have stolen tens of thousands of dollars across the years of 2020 and 2021 from a ninety-year-old legally blind woman. He allegedly used her money to pay his mortgage, take vacations, and pay other personal expenses. Despite having all this extra income, Counseller failed to report this income on his Michigan income tax returns.
“Financial exploitation of vulnerable adults in our state is not only a serious crime with substantial felony penalties, but also an assault on the wellbeing and security of elderly Michigan residents,” said Nessel. “My office puts a high priority on defending Michigan’s seniors from being victimized by thieves and fraudsters and we will continue to hold the perpetrators of elder abuse accountable.”
A probable cause conference is scheduled before Judge Lisa L. Babcock at the 54B District Court on June15, 2023. Judge Babcock ordered Counseller held on a $50,000 cash/surety bond.
To learn more about the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task force and its initiatives, visit the Attorney General’s website.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department of Attorney General does not provide booking photos.