LEESBURG, Fla. — Investigators say a woman took advantage of an elderly man’s loneliness and wasn’t caught until tens of thousands of dollars were gone.
Leesburg police say Crystal Gordon exploited a 76-year-old man and spent about $100,000 of his life savings. She befriended the man at a Denny’s restaurant, where she works as a waitress, and claims the man willingly gave her everything she got.
Police said the whole saga began with a lonely and disabled elderly man eating alone at a Denny’s. In the end, they said, several employees received thousands from him, one manager got $10,000 and a waitress moved in and took over his money.
A nervous Crystal Gordon rattled her shackles Monday as she insisted an unnamed 76-year-old man spent thousands supporting Gordon’s family and friends.
“I took care of him. I handled everything that he needed, anything he needed, anything at all,” she told Eyewitness News reporter Steve Barrett.
But Leesburg police claim Gordon and her friends cared little for the man, but very much for his money. An arrest report suggests Gordon spent upwards of $100,000 of the victim’s money in less than four months.
“Did you use any of his credit cards, did you have any of his credit cards?” Barrett asked Gordon at the jail Monday.
“Of course, he gave them to me. He gave me one of his credit cards,” she said.
But police put the number at eight credit cards and a total of $60,000. Plus the victim, who has no driver’s license, has purchased six cars in recent months, all for a wheelchair-bound man police said was not capable of understanding the decisions he made.
“Do you think he was in any condition to be making the financial decisions he was making?” Barrett asked Gordon.”
Of course, it’s his money. He worked hard for it. Like I said, he’s in real estate. He can do whatever he wants with his money,” Gordon said.”Including giving some of it to you?” Barrett asked.
“Yep. He felt as if I deserved it,” she said.Among the purchases made by the man in the past few months were a dune buggy and an enclosed trailer.
Crystal Gordon is charged with exploitation of the elderly. Police would like her kept on no bond and said the victim has already inquired about bailing her out of jail.