FOUR OAKS – A Johnston County Grand Jury has returned three indictments against a 33 year-old man who allegedly stole thousands of dollars from his elderly grandmother.
Richard Lee Lovett, who has addresses in Four Oaks and Sneads Ferry, NC, was named in the True Bill of Indictment on charges of identity theft, obtaining property by false pretense, and exploiting the disabled/elder trust.
In December 2021, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation after learning Lovett was allegedly withdrawing money from his 84 year-old grandmother’s account within hours of her monthly benefit check being direct deposited. The ATM withdrawals occurred every month for more than a year and totaled more than $10,000.
In some instances, Lovett would withdraw more money than the amount of the benefit check, leaving his grandmother’s bank account with a negative balance. Sheriff’s detectives said Lovett did not have permission to withdraw the money and did so without the elderly woman’s knowledge or consent.
This is not Richard Lovett’s first run-in with law enforcement in recent months. In December 2021, Lovett and a second man were charged with stealing a pickup parked at a home on Juniper Road. The car belongs to a 79 year-old man who died two years earlier.
The administrator of his estate said he didn’t know either suspect. The suspects claimed they had purchased the truck for $200 and later attempted to provide a falsified bill of sale, even though the owner was deceased.