The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 25, 2014

Woman charged with exploiting elderly Wasecan

WASECA — An Owatonna woman is facing four felony charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult in Waseca County District Court.

Michelle Joslyn, 47, is accused of taking $10,250 and attempting to take another $13,000 from an elderly Waseca woman she met through a senior outreach program.

According to the criminal complaint, the Waseca Police Department was informed July 21, 2011, of the possible financial exploitation of Joyce Rocek, 88, of Waseca.

Rocek told police and a social service worker that Joslyn recently started helping her with “bank things.” When Joslyn was interviewed by a police officer, she said she met Rocek through her volunteer work with the nonprofit Southeast Minnesota Citizens Action Council. Specifically, Joslyn was working with SEMCAC’s now-defunct Contact program, which performed daily check-in calls to needy seniors. Joslyn said she frequently talked with Rocek during her calls and was eventually asked to meet her in person.

SEMCAC took over the senior outreach program from the Winona-based Contact when it closed about 2 1/2 years ago. SEMCAC ran the program for about a year before closing it due to lack of funding. SEMCAC officials said Joslyn was promptly dismissed from the program when they were contacted by Waseca officials during the investigation.

According the police report, Joslyn went with Rocek to Roundbank in Waseca on July 11, 2011, and had Joslyn added as a co-signer to Rocek’s checking and savings accounts. On the same day, a $800 check was written out to Joslyn from the checking account. On July 17, 2011, a $1,650 check was written out to Joslyn from the account. The memo portion of the check listed “air conditioners.” On July 18, 2011, Joslyn withdrew $3,000 from Rocek's savings account, according to complaint. Shortly thereafter, $4,800 was taken from the savings account via check with a memo reading “for taking care of you for six months.” Finally, Joslyn attempted to cash a $13,000 check from Rocek's account just two days later, but the bank declined to honor the check.

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