Miami-Dade County

Cops: Miami caretaker stole $51,000 from elderly Key Largo man

The former caretaker of a Key Largo man faces 121 felony counts for allegedly stealing $51,621 from the 74-year-old wheelchair user.

William J. Branam, 51, of Miami was arrested Aug. 12 on 119 counts of passing checks stolen from the victim. He also is charged with exploiting an elderly person and stealing more than $50,000 from a person older than age 65.

On Tuesday, Branam remained in the Monroe County jail with bond set at $149,000.

Monroe County sheriff’s Detective Robert Dosh investigated the reported thefts, which ran from August 2013 through June 2014.

The elderly man, who has poor vision, told the detective he trusted Branam to help him with financial matters. People familiar with the victim alerted the sheriff’s office.

Branam “made numerous withdrawals from the victim’s banking account without the victim’s knowledge or approval,” Dosh wrote.

Some signatures on the checks were forged; in other cases Branam reportedly lied to the victim about the purpose of the checks. Since November, more than 100 checks made out to “cash” for more than $200 each were processed through the victim’s bank.