April 20, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster said today that a Moniteau County mother and son have been ordered to pay $227,534 in restitution and do jail time for taking advantage of an elderly California, Missouri, woman.
Koster said Sylvia Bray and her son Joshua pled guilty in November 2009 to felony stealing and felony failure to file tax return for 2005; Sylvia Bray also pled guilty to making false statements on her 2004 Missouri tax return, also a felony.
Koster said the charges stemmed from allegations that the defendants, along with Sylvia Bray's mother, agreed to assist an elderly woman, Elva Heck, in her California home. Over the course of two and a half years, Heck paid the Brays $227,534. Koster said when Heck's condition required that she be removed from her home in 2006, the home was found to be in deplorable condition, with both human and canine feces found throughout the home.
"It is contemptible that there are those who would take advantage of vulnerable, elderly people, stealing their entire savings and neglecting their care," Koster said. "These people should know that they will be dealt with harshly in our courts."
Koster said Judge Stan Moore sentenced Sylvia Bray to 17 years and Joshua Bray to 12 years. The two will be released on probation if they successfully complete 120 days "shock time." A condition of the probation is that the defendants pay restitution of $227,534.