February 20, 2013, Commonwealth v. Antar Thomas: 32-year-old Antar Thomas of Southwest Philadelphia was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison followed by 5 years probation and $35,000 in restitution for stealing the life savings of an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s.
In early 2009, Thomas befriended a then 82-year-old member of his church, Lillian Drake. Thomas convinced Mrs. Drake to allow him to stay and later live at her home. Her health quickly declined once he moved in, and within a year Thomas opened credit cards in her name and had himself added as a co-signer on all her accounts. Over the next two-and-a-half years, he drained all her accounts. Even after Mrs. Drake was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s and declared mentally incompetent, Thomas had a new will drafted that named himself as the beneficiary of 80% of her estate, her house and car.
In October of 2011, Thomas was arrested at a bank where he claimed to be Mrs. Drake’s husband (who had died decades ago). Thomas had a completed an application for a $30,000 home equity loan on Mrs. Drake’s house. The manager of the bank suspected fraud and immediately called the police. In December of 2012, Thomas entered an open no contest plea before the Honorable Judge Kenneth Powell to eleven charges, including Forgery and Identity Theft. Unfortunately, Mrs. Drake died before the defendant was brought to justice by the Commonwealth; she passed away in February of 2012. ADA JT Tartikoff successfully prosecuted this case.