Couple Exploits & Abandons 87-Year-Old Man

Investigators say couple stole more than $186,000 from victim

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Deltona, FL - A Deltona couple is jailed in Arizona after investigators find out they stole over $186,000 from an 87-year-old man, sold his home, and abandoned him as they moved cross country.

The Volusia Sheriff's Office (VSO) first started investigating 62-year-old Javier Dross and 57-year-old Lydia Dross after the Department of Children and Families (DCF) told detectives about a possible exploitation case. According to a report from the Sheriff's Office, Javier, the son of the victim, first moved into his father's home in 2019, before selling it in May 2020—reportedly after he made his father sign over power of attorney.

Investigators eventually learned that the power of attorney forms were not drafted by an attorney, but by the Drosses themselves. Detectives also found out that they created a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order after the power of attorney was signed. The victim later told investigators that he didn’t know what he was signing, but since Javier was his son, he trusted him.

After the sale of the home was finalized, Javier transferred the funds to Lydia's account before dropping his father off at a friend's house. From there, they went to Arizona. Additionally, Dross deactivated his father’s debit card. Dross also originally arranged to pay the friend to take care of his father, but reportedly stopped sending payments at the end of May.

Soon, detectives began to search through subpoenaed financial records and found that the Drosses took about $186,400 from the victim—including expenses for airfare, hotels, rent, retail shopping, car insurance and meals out at restaurants—with none of the costs actually having anything to do with supporting the victim.

A warrant for their arrests was signed on Friday (December 18th) by a judge. That same day, the couple was arrested in Maricopa County, Arizona. Their exploitation charge carries a bond of $50,000.

The Sheriff's Office urges anyone who has information about possible exploitation of an elderly person to call the 24/7 Florida Abuse Hotline at 800-96-ABUSE (800-962-2873, then press 2 to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult). Callers with hearing loss can call the TTY number is 800-955-8771.

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