Monday (June 26), the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on McDowell Church…
45-year-old Andrea Brawley of Conover is facing federal charges for allegedly stealing more than $300,000 from two elderly relatives, according to a statement released today (July 20) by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A federal grand jury in Charlotte returned a criminal indictment this week, charging Brawley with mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to allegations in the indictment, from August 2016 to January 2023, Brawley engaged in a scheme to defraud the elderly couple by exploiting her relationship with the victims to steal their money and property. The indictment alleges that Brawley gained access to the victims’ personal and company bank accounts, which she was expected to use to manage the couple’s personal and business affairs and to pay routine bills. Instead, Brawley allegedly misused her access to transfer funds to herself, causing the victims to sustain significant financial losses. The theft caused the victims’ residence to go into foreclosure. As a result, the couple lost their home. Brawley also allegedly drained the victims’ retirement accounts by forging retirement distribution forms without the victims’ knowledge and consent. Over the course of the scheme, Brawley allegedly defrauded the victims’ company of more than $300,000.
Brawley allegedly concealed the fraudulent scheme by falsely representing the cause of the foreclosure and the state of the victims’ finances and personal affairs. The indictment alleges that Brawley also isolated the couple and limited their contact with their friends and family by taking the their cell phones, impersonating them in communications with third parties, transporting them to various locations around the state, and preventing them from returning to their residence. In addition, Brawley is accused of identity theft by using and attempting to use one or more means of identification that belonged to the victims, including their names, addresses, and unique account numbers.
The mail fraud offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively.