Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Southwestern N.D. man charged with financially exploiting vulnerable adult

MOTT, N.D. -- A former Hettinger County resident has been charged for allegedly exploiting a vulnerable adult earlier this year. A preliminary hearing was held for Gregory Goetz, 47, Thursday.

MOTT, N.D. -- A former Hettinger County resident has been charged for allegedly exploiting a vulnerable adult earlier this year. A preliminary hearing was held for Gregory Goetz, 47, Thursday.

James Gion, Hettinger County state's attorney, said neither Goetz nor his wife presently reside in Hettinger County. Clarence Tuhy, Stark County sheriff, said Goetz resides in Richardton.

Goetz is out on a $50,000 surety bond, Gion said.

Goetz was appointed as the conservator of his wife and is accused of obtaining or using money held in a conservatorship, according to a Hettinger County criminal complaint.

In August, Goetz was put in charge of about $270,000 which belonged to his wife, said Pat Helfrich, special agent of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, at the hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT

"She was deemed unfit to take care of financial matters by herself," Helfrich said.

He added her psychological issues led to the conservatorship.

The money, which reportedly came from a legal settlement in Alaska, was put into a bank account, Helfrich said. However, the money was then removed from the bank account, he said.

"... the money had been taken out in cash and it was put in a safe," Helfrich said. "According to the report from (Goetz's wife), the bank strongly suggested not doing so, but she said that Greg insisted."

Approximately $41,000 is left of the money, Helfrich said.

The money was reportedly spent on several items, such as vehicles, a trip to Las Vegas and dental work. Goetz also is accused of giving some of the money to his girlfriend and his ex-wife, Helfrich said.

After the hearing, Gion said Goetz's wife had gone to authorities to report the spending and a criminal complaint was filed.

How the money was spent was unrelated to Goetz's wife's wellbeing, according to the complaint.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chad McCabe, Goetz's attorney, requested a continuance of Thursday's pretrial and a district judge granted the request. McCabe said he wanted to gather more information on the case.

"Mr. McCabe wanted to review the documents that Mr. Helfrich had in his possession," Gion said. "It gives Mr. McCabe and I both more time to review the case and to determine if proceeding further is appropriate."

The continued preliminary hearing has not been scheduled.

Gion said Goetz has a criminal record. Goetz is a registered moderate-risk sex offender, according to the state sex offender Web site, www.sexoffender.nd.gov .

Goetz and McCabe declined comment after the hearing.

The Dickinson Press and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

Related Topics: RICHARDTONSTARK COUNTY
What To Read Next
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Crisis pregnancy centers received almost $3 million in taxpayer funds in 2022. Soon, sharing only medically accurate information could be a prerequisite for funding.
The Grand Forks Blue Zones Project, which hopes to make Grand Forks not just a healthier city but a closer community, is hosting an event on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Empire Arts Center from 3-5 p.m.
A bill being considered by the North Dakota Legislature would require infertility treatment for public employees — a step that could lead to requiring private insurance for the costly treatments.