WILLMAR — An Oklahoma man was released on his own recognizance Wednesday after appearing in Kandiyohi County District Court for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from a woman for whom he makes health care and financial decisions.

Kevin Wayne Jelley, 56, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is charged with felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult — breach of fiduciary obligation by failing to provide care.

Eighth Judicial District Judge Jennifer Fischer ordered Jelley to remain law abiding and make all future appearances. He appeared remotely and was ordered to later complete the booking process.

Daniel Matthew Mohs, of Spicer, is listed as Jelley's defense attorney.

According to the criminal complaint, Jelley holds the legal power of attorney for a woman who is a resident of a care facility in Willmar. An administrator there told a Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services employee who works in adult protection that about $29,000 is owed on the woman's account.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

She receives medical assistance funds which are supposed to be used to pay the facility for services.

Jelley has a joint bank account with her where the medical assistance funds are supposed to be deposited.

Jelley allegedly told the administrator, and later law enforcement, that he and his wife lost their jobs during the pandemic and he used the money meant for the woman's care to pay bills and "live on."

Jelley stopped making payments to the care facility in August 2019.

After being confronted by a facility administrator about the lack of payment and being told that further lack of payment would lead to the woman being discharged from the facility, Jelley did make a one-month payment in February 2021.

A law enforcement review of the bank accounts held by Jelley and the woman showed a recurring monthly credit to a joint checking account of between $1,600 and $1,800, which appears to be the medical assistance payments.

From August 2019, when Jelley stopped making payments to the care facility, through March 2021, there are multiple purchase transactions from Target, Walmart and Starbucks, money transfers to an account in Jelley's name and ATM cash withdrawals from the joint checking account.

Jelley's next court date is scheduled for Nov. 9.

Click to read more about Crime and Courts.