Man accused of stealing disabled sister's inheritance
A 65-year-old River Falls man is accused of taking nearly $19,000 that should have gone to his disabled sister in Minnesota.
Jon K. Setala, W12741 735th Ave., has been charged with theft in a business setting for allegedly stealing payments from his deceased mother's pension that were intended for his 57-year-old sister.
An initial court appearance is set for 10 a.m. Monday, June 21. The charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
According to the complaint filed in Pierce County Court, a Hennepin County, Minn., social worker called River Falls police last December to ask them to investigate a possible fraud or forgery.
The social worker said Setala's sister, who's mentally retarded and has a seizure disorder, should have been receiving a monthly stipend of $279 from her mother's pension.
The alleged loss was discovered when the sister's legal guardian applied for assistance, which was denied. Social Security workers said the woman has an income of $279 a month.
Setala's mother, a retired teacher, died in 2002. Since November 2002 the St. Paul Teacher's Association has been making direct deposits to a joint account opened in the names of Setala and his sister.
The payments were intended for the daughter. But, according to the complaint, her guardians said Setala never paid for any services for his sister "and there were often times that she had absolutely no money and could have used this income."
According to a tally by a River Falls police officer, Setala took $18,752 from the joint bank account between March 2003 and November 2009.