Plymouth Man Charged with Two-counts of Theft-by Swindle
A Plymouth man has been charged with two-counts of theft-by swindle for taking funds from a victim’s estate for which he was the executor, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.
David Thomas Abele, 51, withheld money from a charitable organization in order to pay off his personal debt. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Nov. 26.
According to the complaint, on Jan. 9, 2019, Minneapolis Police received a report from the founder of Smile Network International—a charitable organization the deceased named as a beneficiary of the estate.
In the victim’s will, Smile Network International was supposed to receive 50 percent of the estate. The organization initially received about $1 M in cash payments, and then got a check from the estate for $250,000 in Feb. 2014. More than a year later, in May 2015, Smile Network International’s board was told by Abele that the victim’s estate had been liquidated, and the remaining assets were tied up in the victim’s restaurant holdings. In Feb. 2016, Smile Network International received a final payment of $7,500 from Abele, the complaint states.
The police reviewed the victim’s financial records where they found Abele was withdrawing money from the estate’s checking account after informing Smile Network International that everything had been liquidated. An investigation revealed that Abele took $85,500 from the victim’s estate, the complaint says.
On June 20, 2016, Abele admitted under oath during a divorce proceeding that he took money from the estate to help him with his personal debts, the complaints states.
David Abele Criminal Complaint (PDF)