Major crime detectives are investigating how a large inheritance left to neglect victim Annie Smith has been eroded from her bank account.
Investigating Officers will be undertaking an extensive financial investigation that will seek to identify how her money was spent. Investigators have found a number of financial irregularities which will be explored fully.
An inheritance left to Ms Smith by her deceased parents in 2009 has been eroded over time from her bank account. A concern has been identified in respect to two loans from small lending companies were taken out in Annie’s name over the past six years, which were supposedly obtained for the purpose of travel and to buy a new car totalling $70,000. Those funds were not used for either of those purposes.
Major Crime investigating officer, Detective Senior Sergeant Phil Neagle, said because of Ms Smith’s physical disability, it was “most unlikely” she would have obtained the loans without assistance from another person.
“They were significant loans. We know she did not travel or buy a new car after they were taken out, but the money is now gone,” he said.
Investigators acknowledge some of the monies would have been used for day to day expenses however the total amount is disproportionate with Annie’s lifestyle and the larger sums could not be accounted for.
“It is a large amount, a lot of money. That line of inquiry is in its infancy, but an excessive amount of money seems to have been withdrawn in recent years,” Senior Sergeant Neagle said.
“Ann may well have spent some of the money herself, but we are now trying to ascertain how much and if any has been removed unlawfully from her account and where it went.”
Ms Smith was known to be generous to her friends, it is possible this generosity may have been exploited by unknown individuals.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray spoke at a press conference yesterday appealing for information regarding the use of Annie’s 1998 Silver Honda Accord Sedan WDR-166 which is believed to have been used multiple times from 2015 up until her death.
Police have received 10 calls to Crime Stoppers since yesterday which have been very helpful to investigators.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray said, ” We thank the community for their interest in this case, the 45 calls so far have been extremely helpful and have opened up further lines of enquiry.”
During the investigation detectives have discovered there was no refrigerator and no food of any nutritional value in Annie’s home. The food that was there included potato chips, packets of Cup of Soup, chocolate and soft drink. Some pasta with an expiry date of 2014 located along with an almost full tube of toothpaste with an expiry date of 2017. Ms Smith’s was unable to clean her own teeth due to her disability. “
All the day to day things we all take for granted were supposed to be looked after by Annie’s careers over the years.
Investigators have discovered Annie had been receiving in-home hairdressing by a woman called “Pat” and appeal for her to contact Crime Stoppers immediately on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestopperssa.com.au