A Maple Grove woman, who is also a member of the Maple Grove City Council, has been charged with one count of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and two counts of perjury, according to a complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court.
LeAnn Bobleter Sargent, 63, was the subject of an afternoon press conference Tuesday held by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
The following was included in the complaint signed by the Eden Prairie Police Department, who investigated the allegations.
The Eden Prairie Police investigated “allegations of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult” Robert E. Bobleter—the father of Sargent, the complaint stated. Bobleter passed away March 12, 2012, at the age of 84.
During the investigation, police say they reviewed documents and financial records, Bobleter’s medical records and executed search warrants—including one at Sargent’s Maple Grove home, according to the complaint.
From 2008 until the time of Bobleter’s death in March 2012, police state Sargent “held various fiduciary positions on behalf of her father.” In July 2008, Bobleter amended a trust in his name to include Sargent as a co-trustee and successor, according to the complaint. He also signed power of attorney, including the power to conduct real estate transactions, personal property and banking, to Sargent.
The power of attorney, used several times by Sargent, remained in effect until Bobleter’s death, according to the complaint.
Suffering from chronic kidney disease, Bobleter moved into Sargent’s home in February 2010. Starting in April 2011 and until his death, he received at-home health care services from North Memorial.
In addition to the services, according to the complaint, Bobleter “separately contracted” with Sargent for other services—which included a notarized and signed November 2010 personal care agreement for Bobleter to pay Sargent $1,500 per month for “personal care services” and November 2010 notarized and signed room and board agreement to pay Sargent $500 per month for “room and board” in Sargent’s Maple Grove home.
Between the two agreements, Bobleter contractually agreed to pay Sargent $2,000 a month. Eden Prairie Police wrote in the complaint that, under the two agreements, Sargent “should have received approximately $24,000 in total” and a review of the financial records shows she “paid herself substantially more than that amount.”
The complaint outlined Sargent had paid herself approximately $26,350 in checks from Bobleter’s account, withdrew $18,250 in cash from Bobleter’s checking and money market accounts and withdrew approximately $6,124 in cash advances from Bobleter’s credit card. From April 2011 to March 2012, it is alleged Sargent used Bobleter’s money for her personal expenses—such as charging for purchases from “Handbags by Miche,” expenses for her realtor business and spa.
“Neither the personal care agreement nor the room and board agreement makes any reference to Bobleter agreeing to pay for” for Sargent’s “realtor expenses, handbags, credit card bills, or trips to the spa,” according to the complaint which went on to state she “also used her fiduciary position on behalf of Bobleter to manipulate assets with Bobleter’s estate so that she could financially benefit upon his death.”
Sargent was charged with one count of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a felony charge.
Two counts of perjury, felony counts, were also filed after Eden Prairie Police investigated allegations of perjury in connection with Sargant’s 2011 Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
According to the complaint, police said “in the years and months before her bankruptcy filing,” Sargent was receiving “substantial sums of money” from her father and “failed to disclose substantial amounts of the money that she was receiving from her father.”
The Star Tribune reported Sargent was "unconcerned" about the charges when reached at her home Tuesday. "It's a probate matter, and that's basically where it'll stay," she reportedly told the Star Tribune.