The Justice Wire
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The Justice Wire

RELEASE: Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Announces the Arrest of Court Appointed Guardian for Stealing from the Elderly

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Ben Waxman, 215–686–8711, benjamin.waxman@phila.gov

PHILADELPHIA (April 30, 2019) — Today, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the arrest of Gloria Frances Byars for stealing from three separate estates in her official capacity as a court appointed guardian for the elderly. Byars is charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking (4 counts — F3), Theft by Deception (4 counts — F3), Receiving Stolen Property (4 counts — F3), and Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds Received (4 counts — F3).

“Gloria Frances Byars’ actions are despicable and what she did to these three elderly families as their court appointed guardian is deplorable,” said Larry Krasner, Philadelphia District Attorney. “I would like to thank the good work of my office’s Economic Crimes Unit, the County Detectives supporting them, and want to make it clear to everyone that their investigation into this defendant is far from over.”

The investigation into Byars started when the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas notified the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) about calls, centering on questionable expenditures, they were receiving from several clients Byars was assisting. The following is a summary of the office’s investigation:

The estate was valued at about $570,000 and owned by a husband and wife couple living in an assisted living facility. The husband had dementia, the wife was diagnosed with cancer, and both were elderly. Their home, which was not a hoarder house, was in both of their names and was free and clear of all liens and encumbrances. According to family, their home was kept in immaculate condition. They owned a grandfather clock, a large collection of German steins, and expensive jewelry and heirlooms. All of these mysteriously disappeared after Byars was appointed guardian. The investigation also found multiple instances of Byars routing funds from the estate into accounts linked to the Byars. For example:

During this time Byars and her husband planned a second fantasy wedding, to the tune of $39,000, to renew their vows.

Gloria Frances Byars was arrested at her home in Delaware County on April 25, 2019. Her next status hearing will be on May 3, 2019 in courtroom 406 of the Criminal Justice Center.

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million citizens of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecution of over 40,000 criminal cases annually.

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