Former Florida deputy gets 15 years for exploiting elderly woman

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP/WFTS) — A former Florida deputy has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for exploiting a 79-year-old woman he befriended while on the job.

The Herald-Tribune reports that 46-year-old Frank Bybee was sentenced Thursday. He was convicted last month of kidnapping, exploitation of the elderly, three counts of computer fraud and eight counts of fraudulent use of personal information.

Authorities say Bybee was working for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office when he met the victim last year. He withdrew money from the woman's accounts using ATM cards and forged checks for $65,000. He also hacked her AOL and PayPal accounts.

WFTS-TV reported that an investigation suggested Bybee attempted to kill Marcia Sohl and make the death look like a suicide. They discovered carbon monoxide in the home after the garage door was left open while a car was left running.

Here's a timeline of events leading from when Bybee met the victim to being charged with an attempt on her life:

  • The relationship originated when Bybee supposedly gained her trust by taking care of her dog, visiting her in the hospital, and introducing her to his kids. 
  • On Dec. 20, 2016, he was reportedly paid to take care of the victim's dog while she was in the hospital. Instead, he allegedly kept the money and sold the dog on Craigslist.
  • On Jan. 9, checks from the victim, which had Bybee's fingerprints on them, were made to Bybee without her knowledge. The alleged attempted murder came just three days later. 
  • Another investigation into Bybee also found evidence he may have moonlighted as a prostitute, while on duty.
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