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Woman steals $87k from elderly neighbor using forged checks, police say

Leslee Dianne Minnich, 50, wrote 36 checks to herself in the span of 6 months
Leslee Minni
Posted at 2:08 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 17:56:43-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A Boynton Beach woman has been charged with defrauding more than $87,000 from her 86-year-old neighbor.

“She stole my mother’s estate money and then stole all of my money, I had nothing in the bank,” said Katherine Pierry.

According to Boynton Beach Police, Leslee Dianne Minnich, 50, wrote 36 checks to herself in the span of six months totaling $87,600 using Pierry’s check books.

Investigators said the elderly, widowed woman enlisted Minnich to help her with household tasks, including grocery shopping, light cleaning, and getting her mail.

During that time, Minnich forged 36 checks between October 2020 and April 2021.

“I’m heartbroken, because of all the trouble in the world I cannot believe that people would do things like this to a human being,” said Pierry.

After an extensive investigation, detectives determined Minnich was the person responsible for the withdrawals. They also found that the withdrawals were made without permission from Pierry, wiping her accounts clean.

“She was writing checks for two or three thousand dollars a week and the bank never caught her,” Pierry said.

Pierry didn’t realize something was wrong until her checks started bouncing. To make matters worse, sentimental items were also stolen from her home.

"My big gold medals that say 'Christopher' and some gold coins of my deceased husband, who just died a couple months before she took them," Pierry said.

Members of the Boynton Beach Police Department’s Violent Crimes Task Force arrested Minnich on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. at her home along Southeast Fifth Circle.

Minnich is charged with exploitation of an elderly person, a first-degree felony punishable up to 30 years in prison, fraudulent use of identification information, and money laundering.

Meanwhile, the situation has only made Pierry's health conditions worse and she’s only been able to receive half of her money back.

“Congestive heart failure, I have crippling arthritis, I have COPD, I have diabetes,” said Pierry, “you name it, I have it.”

Minnich is being held at Palm Beach County jail on $100,000 bond and is ordered to have no contact with Pierry.