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Man charged with bilking man out of money pleads guilty to one count

State of Maryland dropped at least four other charges against Daniel Lee Meldron

State of Maryland dropped at least four other charges against Daniel Lee Meldron

December 15, 2009|By BRIDGET DiCOSMO

HAGERSTOWN -- A man charged with bilking an elderly Boonsboro man out of more than $600,000 in securities and the proceeds from the sale of antique cars has pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to one of six criminal charges he faced.

Daniel Lee Meldron, 40, of 18644 North Haven Drive, had been charged with five counts of obtaining property of a vulnerable adult $500 plus, but pleaded guilty to only one of those charges, according to court records.

The state, represented by Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion, dropped the other four charges and one count of theft scheme $500 plus, court records show.

The case was slated to go to a jury trial Tuesday, but court officials said it was placed on the docket for Dec. 7 at the last minute.

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Meldron was not sentenced because Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long ordered a presentence investigation, court records show.

Meldron's attorney, Bernard W. Semler II, said Tuesday his client pleaded guilty in accordance with an agreement that he not serve more than four years in prison.

Semler said the expected sentence would be 15 years, with 11 of those years suspended.

Cirincion did not immediately respond to two phone messages left on her office voice mail Tuesday.

Meldron, and his wife, Angie Rebecca Meldron, had powers of attorney for the victim in the case, whose name is not being published to protect his privacy.

The couple was charged in December 2008 after Boonsboro-area residents reported to authorities that the victim, who suffered from dementia, was living in deplorable conditions and using his cook range to keep warm in his unheated home.

Court records alleged the Meldrons deprived the victim of $325,000 made from the sale of 26 antique cars belonging to him.

The man also allegedly was deprived of the sale proceeds of a Wachovia Securities account totaling $221,274, a JP Morgan/Chase bank account worth $85,629, the sale proceeds of an antique Cadillac for $7,500 and the value of a 1936 Ford worth at least $5,000, according to court records.

The man has since been placed in assisted living through the Department of Social Services and is destitute, according to an application for charges filed Dec. 12, 2008, by Sgt. Roy Harsh of the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Semler said his client will be ordered to make monthly payments toward the victim's living expenses.

In a statement to police, Meldron said the $325,000, was placed in a bank account of the victim's, then transferred to an account of A.R. Meldron Trucking Co., Harsh said. When asked to explain that transaction, Meldron said the man gave him the money to buy some dump trucks, Harsh wrote in court documents.

Angela Meldron was charged with obtaining property of a vulnerable adult over $500 and vulnerable adult abuse/custodian, but her case was placed on the inactive docket when she agreed to testify against her husband.

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