A Virginia city councilwoman was slapped with a felony charge after she allegedly took financial advantage of her great-aunt and Alzheimer-stricken great-uncle – including an accusation that she took their home illegally, according to reports.
Chesapeake City Council member Amanda Newins, a Republican who won her election in November, was charged with financially exploiting a vulnerable adult by a grand jury Tuesday.
The charge against Newins, who is also a lawyer, comes after her great-aunt sued her two months before the 2022 election in civil court for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her and her late great-uncle dating back to 2020 and over several months, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Newins convinced relative Shirley Davis and husband Bobby Davis to move in with her family that year, the lawsuit reportedly states. Bobby Davis suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and advanced dementia before he died in March 2021.
Newins got the green light from the elderly couple to grant her power over their financial accounts and even had them sign over the deed to their three-bedroom house in the state, the lawsuit states, according to the newspaper. The home is reportedly worth more than $300,000.
The lawsuit also alleges that Newins kicked Shirley B. Davis out of her home after her husband died, and the widow is now living with Newins’ mother.
The charge on Tuesday and accusations from the civil lawsuit are connected, WAVY-TV reported.
Newins’ lawyer called the charge against her “absolutely untrue.”
“We are disappointed that the Commonwealth has decided to charge Amanda with this offense. Amanda was practically raised by her uncle and the allegation that she financially exploited him, is absolutely untrue. We look forward to the time when Amanda can finally tell her story,” attorney Kristin Paulding told the TV station.
“The indictment comes on the heels of a civil lawsuit that was filed by her family members. That lawsuit was not filed until weeks before the election for City Council. It is sad to see the same individuals who were committed to destroying Amanda’s career are also supporting this criminal charge.”
Newins’ civil lawyer has also denied the allegations in the lawsuit.
The great-aunt is seeking more than $800,000 in damages.