Tenth Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen said he struggled to find a way to get evidence admitted against a couple suspected of scamming money from the late Clifton Bond.
But it wasn’t possible, Deen said.
Deen this week dropped charges against Maurice Everette Evans and Angela Rena Evans, Bond’s former caretakers.
The couple was arrested in late September 2013 for theft by deception, forgery and theft of property in connection with the alleged theft of more than $40,000 from the former municipal judge and city alderman. Less than five months later, Bond died.
In an interview before his death, Bond told Seark Today the couple scammed him out of about $40,000. A video of that interview appears below this story.
Bond said the couple threatened to have him placed in a nursing home if he did not sign checks over to them. He said they also stole checks and forged his name to those checks.
For example, Maurice Evans charged Bond $3,000 to paint his house. However, there were several $3,000 checks written for painting the same house.
Bond said he also paid $20,000 for what Angela Evans told him was life-saving dental services. He said Angela Evans told him that she would die unless she received the dental work.
The couple had previously cared for Bond’s late wife Marjorie with no trouble whatsoever. “There was no sign of aggression, there was no sign of fraud and there was no sign of sham that might be practiced,” Bond said.
Knowing that he was a wealthy man and alone, Bond said the couple approached him about providing care-taking services, cooking, and maintaining his home and lawn.
“They said ‘We’re doing this not for particular compensation. We’re doing it because we like you. We’re doing this because we think you need to be protected,’” Bond said.
As an elderly person, Bond said he had reached a point in which he could no longer write a check so he would have Evans write the check and he would sign it. “That’s the way we operated until I figured out that he was using that money for something else,” Bond said. “He was getting money that he didn’t need, and didn’t deserve, and wasn’t supposed to get.”
Initially, the couple simply charged him too much for the services but it progressed to forgery, stealing and threatening, according to Bond.
When he protested the amount they were charging him, Bond said they threatened him.
“They’d say ‘If you want to be that way, we’ll just leave,’” Bond said. “Well, you don’t want them to leave because you’re dependent upon them. And they try to brow-beat you and threaten you. My fear is that I’ll be consigned to a rest home. They would say, ‘Now, if you don’t do what we tell you to do we’re going to put you in a nursing home.’”
Bond said Maurice Evans represented himself as a church-going man of high moral standards but he was everything but that.
“He attended every church meeting in town and he gave the appearance of absolute honesty and integrity and morality when he was exactly the opposite,” Bond said.
Deen said there was no way to get that evidence admitted without Bond’s testimony. “We struggled with how to get the evidence admitted but it’s not possible without Judge Bond’s testimony, given that their defense is consent,” Deen explained.