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David N. Kirkman
Task Force Alert
Asst Attorney General
Consumer Protection
NC Department of
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602

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******Alert #279******

Senior Fraud Alert: Charlotte Victim, Bank Officials, PD Financial Crimes Unit, DA Secure Convictions Against Alleged Financial Predator

Sgt. Walter Bowling of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit shares the following case result with his Task Force colleagues:

I have supervised the Financial Crimes Unit in Charlotte for the past seven years. As many of you know, financial crimes against the elderly are very difficult to investigate and even more difficult to prosecute.

On September 14th, 2011, I had the opportunity to see a career criminal, who has targeted seniors in Mecklenburg County for decades, sentenced to what may be the rest of her life in prison. It would not have been possible without the help and testimony of witnesses from SunTrust Bank and our courageous 77 year old Victim.

On October 18th, 2010 our Victim made her usual trip to Chick-Fil-A. While there she was approached by the suspect who struck up a conversation with her and proceeded to tell her that she worked for a Home Health Care company. She wrote down her name (using an alias) and phone number and suggested the Victim call if she needed her services. The Victim told her she did not need any assistance and went on her way. Later that day, the suspect showed up at the Victim’s residence and again tried to see if the Victim needed assistance. The Victim again insisted she did not and the suspect ask to use the restroom before she left. The Victim reported that the suspect took her purse while she was in the house. A few days later the Victim was notified that one of her checks had been presented for cashing at the bank and she made another report. The case was investigated and in December of 2010 Mary Coleman Grier was arrested and charged with Larceny, Uttering a Forged Instrument and Forgery.

In her confession to Detective Garrison she stated that she only targets the elderly and the handicapped because they are easy to steal from. She went to trial the week of September 12th for the charges of Larceny of Chose in Action (a check), Uttering a Forged Instrument, Forgery and Habitual Felon. She was convicted of all four charges. Her prior record included assault and battery, financial card fraud, over thirty one uttering charges, over eighteen false pretenses and twelve forgeries. She was also convicted of multiple felonies and habitual indictments and was sentenced as a habitual felon in 2001. Obviously she got back out of jail and began exploiting seniors and the disabled all over again. She is 61 years old and on Wednesday the 14th, she was sentenced in the top of the aggravating range to 182-228 months in the Department of Corrections.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Financial Crimes Unit would like to express our gratitude and praise for the work, availability and testimony of all the witnesses, our Victim who came to court in a wheel chair, and the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office for helping to make Mecklenburg County a safer community for the seniors and disabled. Mary Grier will serve a minimum of 15 years before she has an opportunity to scam anyone else.

Sgt. Walter Bowling
Financial Crimes
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department
601 E. Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 336-8292 Office
(704) 336-4898 Fax
(704) 621-1454 Cell

******End of Alert******

Date: September 27, 2011

David N. Kirkman
Task Force Alerts Chair
Assistant Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Office of Attorney General Roy Cooper
114 West Edenton Street
9001 Mail Processing Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Tel. 919-716-6000
Fax 919-716-6050


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