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Retired, dying cop says granddaughter 'scammed' him

9:05 AM, May 3, 2011   |    comments
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RICHMOND HEIGHTS -- Former Cleveland police officer Leo Hayes says he was wiped out financially by his own granddaughter.

Adrienne Dye and her husband, Frank Dye, have been charged with 16 criminal counts that include: engaging in a pattern of corupt activity, money laundering, forgery and theft.

Hayes, who is dying of lung cancer, says the couple ripped him off for more than $200,000. He says he allowed the couple to move in with him so they could save for a house of their own.

He says it was a good idea at the time but now he says they took his life's savings and forced him into bankruptcy.

"This kid, I took care of. I took her to the park and to Cedar Point. I still can't get over it," Hayes said.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said Hayes worked 28 years "upholding the laws so people wouldn't get cheated and he ends up being taken by his own granddaughter."

Mason says the couple opened up credit cards in the former cop's name and ran up bills everywhere. He says they opened a home equity line of credit and bought an expensive SUV.

Adrienne Dye is a teacher at the Cornerstone Christian Academy in Willoughby. When the Investigator Tom Meyer tried to talk with her about the case, she had no comment.

Her husband said it was all a big mistake.

Hayes joins a growing list of elderly people who have fallen victim to financial abuse. One Ohio attorney, who has defended and prosecuted elder fraud, says the perpetrator is often a family member.

Hayes fears he'll lose his house, now that he's had to file for bankruptcy.

"It's the only house I've ever had," he said. Dye and her husband have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

If they're convicted, they could be sent to prison for up to 82 years.

As a cop, Hayes said he was always suspicious of everyone, but never family.

 "That's what threw me," Hayes said. Mason says the couple siphoned his savings over a four-year period.

"Slowly but surely, they took everything he had," Mason said.

Hayes said a friend compared the couple to Wall Street con artist Bernie Madoff. Hayes said he hopes his granddaughter and her husband wind up alongside Madoff in prison. 

WKYC-TV

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