An Ojai Valley man was arrested early this week on suspicion of stealing money from his 85-year-old father, authorities said Thursday.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation began about 2:30 p.m. April 19 when the man, George Hallmark, called authorities to report that the person he hired to manage his father’s finances was suspected of stealing money from his father. Hallmark, 56, told authorities the theft had occurred between December 2015 and March 8.
However, during the investigation, detectives discovered Hallmark and his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Fearing, 47, of the Ojai Valley, were using the victim’s money illegally, officials said. Hallmark and Fearing opened credit accounts in the victim’s name over the past three years, causing debt to pile up, authorities said. As a result, the victim’s home deteriorated from a lack of maintenance and became uninhabitable, officials said.
Both Hallmark and Fearing confessed to misusing the victim’s money and spending large amounts of it at casinos across Southern California, authorities said. Fearing was arrested June 17 and Hallmark was arrested at 8 a.m. Monday in the 100 block of Rockaway Road in Oak View, officials said. They were both booked into county jail in connection with elder abuse and identity theft, authorities said.
Adult Protective Services and Ventura County code enforcement were brought in to assist in to provide a healthy and stable environment for the victim, authorities said.