A 25-year-old Porterville man will serve two years in state prison on a conviction for elder abuse against his grandmother, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office reported.
Brandon Birchfield moved in with his grandmother, who has dementia, in August 2016. He used her debit card, including numerous online charges for the Pokemon Go app, and overdrafted her account. Birchfield’s grandmother has since passed away, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office.
Birchfield pleaded no contest in September to one misdemeanor count of financial elder abuse and one felony count of identity theft.
The 2016 incident wasn’t the first time Birchfield has been charged with elder abuse. In 2013 he was convicted of the same crime against the same victim, his grandmother. Birchfield also was convicted in 2015 for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury against another victim. The latest elder abuse conviction was a violation of his probation.
“Elder abuse impacts over two million American seniors each year,” District Attorney Tim Ward said in a statement. “Abuse can be physical, financial, or neglect.”
Anyone who wishes to report elder abuse to Tulare County Adult Protective Services can contact 1-877-657-3092.