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Washington Man Who Swindled Older Couple is Possible Example of a Theft From a Vulnerable Adult

Posted by Steve Karimi | Jun 06, 2019 | 0 Comments

Michele Bocci is a man with prior convictions for acting as a “con artist” who has apparently struck again. It was reported in an affidavit from the Clark County Superior Court that a Vancouver couple recently lent him roughly $60,000. A search warrant was issued; however, it was determined that Bocci was currently in the Washington County Jail for an unrelated offense. Michael Day, a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, investigated records that confirm he had swindled the money from an 80-year-old woman.

The daughter of the woman told investigators that her father had initially met Bocci at a coffee shop and both he and his wife became friends with him. Over a period of time, Bocci began borrowing money from the couple for a variety of supposed reasons. Bocci told them a story about how he was victimized and ultimately left homeless and jobless. The pattern of borrowing culminated with her lending Bocci $25,000 toward a new home.

Investigative Efforts

Those investigating the case found that Bocci had a bank account, which they then had frozen. As they looked into his background further, they discovered his criminal record included:

  • A conviction in 2017 in Oregon for criminal impersonation and theft
  • A conviction in 2018 in Clark County for theft through deception
  • In 2018, he also was convicted of making false statements in Clark County

Oregon Story

According to KGW News 8 in Portland, Bocci had conducted a lucrative scheme. He created a story that he was a U.S. military veteran who was raising two children on his own after his wife passed away. KGW reported that no military service record existed for him. They also found dozens of people who had given money to Bocci. He had established a bank account for receiving donations and created web pages to promote fundraising.

He has apparently gone to great lengths to misrepresent himself and solicit donations. He created social media pages that showed him with his children that do not exist and at one point claimed he was a medical doctor. Bocci even made his own business cards in efforts to create false illusions of his identity.

Theft from a Vulnerable Adult

His most recent scam that involved the older couple from Vancouver may be considered a crime of theft from a vulnerable adult as outlined in RCW 9A.56.400. The crime is a first-degree offense if the value of the theft exceeds $5,000; this constitutes a class B felony. The crime is a second-degree offense when the value of the theft is between $750 and $5,000; this constitutes a class C felony. In order to prove the offense, it must be shown that the defendant was aware that the victim was deemed as a “vulnerable” individual.

Experienced Defense Attorney for Cases of Theft or Fraud

Attorney Steve Karimi has been representing clients in the greater King County region in criminal matters for many years. His success is largely attributed to a commitment to aggressively challenge these cases by developing comprehensive strategies of defense. Contact the office today at (206) 621-8777 for a complimentary case evaluation.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.

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If you were arrested or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Seattle or surrounding areas of Washington State, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. Call 206-621-8777 during regular business hours or 206-660-6200 24 hours a day for a free consultation.

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Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.