A 33-year-old New Bedford man accused of taking advantage of his elderly grandfather and stealing more than $60,000 from him was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail last week after being arrested and charged with a litany of elder financial abuse charges, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Christopher Strouse was arraigned last Thursday on a criminal complaint charging him with seven counts of larceny over $250 from a person over the age of 60 and eight counts of conspiracy to commit larceny. During his arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Michael Scott, who assisted Fairhaven Police in its extensive investigation of this case, recommended that bail be set at $25,000 cash. The defendant is due back in court on February 8 for a pretrial hearing.

The charges arise from a larceny/elder abuse investigation started by Fairhaven Police Detective Janis Bubluski in April 2015 and continued by Det. Bubluski and ADA Michael Scott into December 2016. The investigation revealed that from July 2014 through April 2015, the defendant improperly accessed his grandfather’s checking account at Citizens Bank and stole more than $60,000 from his failing and elderly grandfather, who died last may at the age of 86.

“The allegations in this case are extremely disturbing. Investigating elder fraud has become a priority in my administration and I have dedicated resources to this effect,” said District Attorney Quinn. “Our elders have given much to our society and they need to be protected. I would like to thank Detective Bubluski for her hard work and determination throughout this investigation.”

It is alleged that the defendant stole checks from his grandfather’s checkbook and drafted checks payable to friends/ associates. In turn, each “strawman” would cash the check payable to them and split the cash with the defendant. The charged co-conspirators in this matter are:

--Brian Miller, 47, of New Bedford, one count each of larceny over $250 of a person over 60 and conspiracy to commit larceny.
--Kyle Tremblay, 44, of New Bedford, one count each of larceny over $250 of a person over 60 and conspiracy to commit larceny.
--Jared Perry, 29, of Carver, one count each of larceny over $250 of a person over 60 and conspiracy to commit larceny.
--Jordon Caetano, 35, of New Bedford, one count each of larceny over $250 of a person over 60 and conspiracy to commit larceny.
--Raul Garcia, 27, of New Bedford, one count each of larceny over $250 of a person over 60 and conspiracy to commit larceny.
--Mary Lopes, 24, of New Bedford, one count each of larceny over $250 of a person over 60 and conspiracy to commit larceny.

--Bristol County District Attorney's Office