PAW PAW, MI – Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his new Elder Financial Crimes Unit has filed criminal charges against a Paw Paw insurance agent. Brian Lietzau, 57-years-old, faces 7 felonies stemming from his abuse of his position when given Power of Attorney for a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s Dementia.
Lietzau has been charged with the following:
- Conducting a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Felony 20 years and/or $100,000
- Embezzlement From a Vulnerable Adult Over $100,000, Felony 20 years and/or $50,000 or 3 times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater,
- 2 counts of Embezzlement by Agent Over $1,000, Felony 5 years and/or $10,000 or 3 times the amount embezzled whichever is greater
- 3 counts of using a Computer to Commit a Crime, Felony 7 years and/or $5,000
“When a person is appointed to act as Power of Attorney, they make a promise to protect the assets of the person they are assisting, not steal their life’s savings,” said Schuette. “My office will continue to make crimes against the elderly and infirm a priority for prosecution. I would like to thank the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) for their hard work and cooperation in this joint investigation.”
In total, Lietzau converted $270,000 from his victim’s estate. This matter was initially investigated by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and referred to the Department of Attorney General for prosecution.
Brian Lietzau is the former owner of Farm Bureau-Lietzau Insurance and allegedly stole $270,000 from one of his clients who suffered from Alzheimer’s Dementia starting in 2012 after obtaining the title of Durable Power of Attorney. Lietzau allegedly wrote checks to himself from the client’s account as well as allegedly converted her funds to be his own. Lietzao was not a beneficiary on any of his client’s accounts.
Several of these alleged transfers occurred while his client was in the hospital and after she had passed away.
This case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Elder Financial Crimes Unit (EFCU). The EFCU was created in February 2018 and uses existing staffing and resources from the Corporate Oversight Division-Criminal, the Criminal Division, the Healthcare, Education and Family Services Division and the Healthcare Fraud Division to assist law enforcement and county prosecutors in investigating and prosecuting financial crimes targeting elder or vulnerable adults.