PORT SAINT LUCIE, Fla. - A Port St. Lucie man has been charged with stealing $20,000 from a 97-year-old hospice-bound St. Lucie County woman, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
"Jonathan Wainwright Mayfield, 66, of Port St. Lucie, was supposed to be acting on the victim's behalf in medical matters," Sheriff Mascara said. "He was never authorized to convert almost all of the victim's savings to his personal use. I want to thank the caring professionals at Treasure Coast Hospice for bringing this situation to light and for their assistance to our investigators."
Mark Weinberg, Public Information Officer for the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, said detectives arrested Mayfield Friday afternoon. He was booked into the St. Lucie County jail on charges of grand theft from a person 65 or older and forgery, both which are felonies, Sheriff Mascara said. He posted $15,000 bond and was released Friday night.
For the past three years, the victim had authorized Mayfield to make medical decisions for her as the victim's "medical surrogate."
Weinberg says when hospice staff members considered moving the victim to an assisted living facility, they requested information from her financial records.
According to detectives, that's when Mayfield said he had shredded them and denied having the records.
Hospice staff members obtained permission from the victim to obtain her financial records from her bank and noticed a $20,000 check cashed by Mayfield one day after the victim entered hospice. According to Weinberg, the victim said she had never authorized this withdrawal.
Weinberg says during questioning, Mayfield admitted spending some of the money for a plane ticket for his wife to fly to Russia, and spending the rest of the money on himself.
Now the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office is warning others to be careful: "If you are facing serious health issues, please make sure you are placing your trust for medical and financial issues in reputable and knowledgeable people," Sheriff Mascara said. "The last thing we want to discover is that someone in the final stages of life has been victimized by an untrustworthy person."