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Houston County Courier - Local News

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Woman found guilty of stealing from war veteran
Houston County Courier

By Jenna Duncan
News Reporter

Financial crimes against the elderly occur a lot, District Attorney Donna Kaspar says, and just last week a Houston County jury found a woman guilty of one such crime. Joyce Gillen McGaha, 70, of Crockett, was charged with a third degree felony for misapplication of fiduciary property against the elderly late last week, after a jury found she misused power of attorney over the late Jack Brittain, a war veteran, in 2007. McGaha was sentenced to 10 years in the state penitentiary, the maximum sentence for the charge. She currently is free, pending her appeal of the case. Houston County District Attorney Donna Gordon Kaspar said investigation into the case began in 2007, and it finally was brought to trial last week. "I originally found out about the case from Jack Brittain's children, who all live in different states," she explained. "They pointed out that they were worried about first his health and well being and looked at his financial records and it appeared Joyce McGaha was taking money." McGaha was found guilty of taking around $15,000 over the course of 2007 from Brittain after she gained access to his bank accounts through a power of attorney, Kaspar said. She also had taken his car, but his children were able to recover the property so it was not counted against her in court. Brittain and McGaha reportedly met in grief counseling at First Baptist Church in Crockett after his wife passed away in 2003, and the two became friendly.


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