State v. Forte, 206 N.C. App. 699 (Sept. 7, 2010)

The defendant was charged with offenses under the current (G.S. 14-112.2) and prior (G.S. 14-32.3) statutes proscribing the crime of exploitation of an elder adult. (1) There was sufficient evidence that the victim was an elder adult. The victim was either 99 or 109 years old and had not driven a vehicle for years. Individuals helped him by paying his bills, driving him, bringing him meals and groceries, maintaining his vehicles, cashing his checks, helping him with personal hygiene, and making medical appointments for him. (2) There was sufficient evidence that the defendant was the victim’s caretaker. The defendant assisted the victim by, among other things, performing odd jobs, running errands, serving as a driver, taking him shopping, purchasing items, doing projects on the victim’s property, writing checks, visiting with him, taking him to file his will, making doctor appointments, and cutting his toenails. Additionally, the two had a close relationship, the defendant was frequently at the victim’s residence, and was intricately involved in the victim’s financial affairs. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that these activities were not sufficient to transform the “friendly relationship” into that of caretaker and charge.