Suspect arrested for stealing $125,000 from elderly family member
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
Hoover Police detectives have charged 55-year-old Andrew Jas Lawrence with stealing from an elderly relative over more than a two-year span.
The suspicious activity was first reported in November 2014 and it involved forged checks and unlawful credit card purchases according to the press release.
The HPD Financial Crimes Unit spent a tremendous amount of time investigating the case and preparing it for presentation to the District Attorney’s Offices.
The 80-year-old victim had no knowledge that Lawrence was draining her bank account and making numerous purchases with her credit cards.
Detectives were able to document 86 separate checks that were either forged and cashed or forged and deposited into the suspect’s bank accounts.
The forged checks accounted for $113,000 of fraud, occurring in both Jefferson and Shelby Counties.
Additionally, the suspect completed 19 fraudulent transactions involving two credit cards belonging to the victim. Those 19 transactions accounted for an additional $12,000 of fraud.
On April 1, detectives met with representatives of the Jefferson and Shelby County District Attorney’s and the listed arrest warrants were obtained, charging the suspect as follows:
First degree financial exploitation of an elderly person, two charges of first degree theft of property, second degree possession of a forged instrument, identity theft, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card an five counts of second degree possession of a forged instrument with bonds totaling $140,000 in both Jefferson and Shelby Counties.
Lawrence was arrested by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department Warrant Unit and taken to the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, where he remains.
In addition to the Hoover Police Department Financial Crimes Unit, the newly formed Jefferson County District Attorney’s White Collar Crime Unit played a vital role in preparing this case for arrest and prosecution.