LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A DeWitt man pled guilty Thursday to one count of embezzling $100,000 or more two counts of filing false tax returns.
Peter Counseller, 57, agreed to pay full restitution of $114,569.86 to the 90-year-old victim and $10,211 to the Michigan Department of Treasury, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement Friday.
Counsellor made an initial payment of $60,000 toward the sum at the time of his plea. As part of a plea agreement, the court delayed Counsellor’s sentencing for about 11 months. If Counsellor pays the full restitution before the date of his sentencing, the court will sentence him on reduced charges.
He is charged with stealing thousands of dollars from a 90-year-old legally blind woman as part of an elder financial abuse scheme, Nessel’s office said. Counsellor allegedly used the woman’s money, without her consent, to pay his mortgage, take vacations and pay other personal expenses. He also failed to report the income to his Michigan income tax returns.
“Michigan’s elderly adults deserve vigilant protection from thieves who would devastate a lifetime of savings and financial management for their own enrichment,” said Nessel.
Counsellor’s final sentencing date will be Sept. 11, 2024, before Judge James S. Jamo in the 30th Circuit Court in Ingham County.