Cops: Man stole $51,000 from elderly man for whom he was caring

The former caretaker for a Key Largo man, a wheelchair user 74 years old, faces 121 felony counts for allegedly stealing $51,621.

William J. Branam, 51, of Miami was arrested Aug. 12 on 119 counts of passing checks stolen from the victim. He also is charged with exploiting an elderly person and stealing more than $50,000 from a person older than age 65.

Tuesday, Branam remained in the Monroe County jail under $149,000 bond.

Detective Robert Dosh from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office investigated the reported thefts, which ran from August 2013 through June 2014.

The elderly man, who has poor vision, told the detective he trusted Branam to help him with financial matters. People familiar with the victim alerted the Sheriff's Office.

Branam "made numerous withdrawals from the victim's banking account without the victim's knowledge or approval," Dosh wrote.

Some signatures on the checks were forged; in other cases Branam reportedly lied to the victim about the purpose of the checks. Since November, more than 100 checks made out to "cash" for more than $200 each were processed through the victim's bank.