Background - On September 13, 2017, 39-year-old Krista Cline was arrested for charges including Fraudulent Schemes and Theft. Between January of 2016, and May of 2017, while acting as a Conservator/Guardian in a licensed Fiduciary capacity, Cline transferred more than $100,000 above and beyond her fees, services, and costs from the accounts of 2 victims for personal use. Only Cline had access to the victim’s accounts during that time frame. Both victims were special needs clients and classified as vulnerable adults (for more details, prior media release follows this update).
Update - Since the media release covering this arrest was issued on September 16, 2017, the case detective has received numerous calls alleging fraud against additional victims. The detective discovered Cline, acting as a licensed Fiduciary to clients she was working for, fraudulently removed large sums of money from those client's accounts and transferred the money to her personal accounts and credit card accounts under her ownership and control.
In the newest case, Cline was hired to serve as a Fiduciary for a Cottonwood man in November of 2014. After his death in the same month, Cline managed a living trust for this man. Over the next few months, Cline paid herself more than $38,000 for services she handled on the account which detectives have deemed excessive based on customary payment for such services. In addition, she fraudulently transferred an additional $33,000 to personal bank and credit card accounts and was documented withdrawing $1600 in cash for personal use. By the end of the first year Cline managed this trust, it was left with nearly a zero balance. She had sold much of the decedent’s personal property and refused to cooperate with his surviving family.
A second case came to the detective’s attention following the prior media release. Last month, a family called the detective to explain that her son’s special needs account was being managed by Cline and they found a $2000 transfer to Cline’s personal and credit card account.
Detectives arrested Cline on December 4th following a court appearance in Camp Verde on the prior charges. She was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Fraud
and Theft. She has since been released pending additional follow-up. She has been ordered to stop any/all duties as a Fiduciary.
Note – Cline’s license is listed as SUSPENDED by the State of Arizona Fiduciary Board –
For more regarding Fiduciary licensing in Arizona, see http://www.azcourts.gov/cld/Fiduciary-Licensing-Program
Prior media release follows-
Media release Issued September 16, 2017 - a Financial Caretaker rips off Special Needs Clients
In May of 2017, personnel from Adult Protective Services (APS) contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report allegations of fraud and theft by 39-year-old Krista Cline from Sedona.
Between January of 2016, and May of 2017, while acting as a Conservator/Guardian in a licensed Fiduciary capacity, Cline transferred more than $100,000 above and beyond her fees, services, and costs from the accounts of 2 victims for personal use. Only Cline had access to the victim’s accounts during that time frame.
The first victim was female client residing in a special needs care home. Cline had been appointed by the court as the client’s Conservator and guardian from September 01, 2016, until she passed away in January of 2017. Overall, more than $76,000 was moved from this clients account by Cline and these funds were above and beyond the cost of housing and fiduciary services Cline was entrusted to handle. Even after the client died, Cline continued to transfer money to her personal accounts. The court had declared this client mentally and physically unable to care for herself or handle finances making her a vulnerable adult. A fiduciary is not allowed to take gifts or benefit from the client outside of the fiduciary fees and costs of care.
In the second case, Cline was appointed as Conservator for a male special needs client from January of 2016 until March of 2017 when she was fired by the client for theft. During that time, Cline transferred more than $30,000 above and beyond her fees, services, and costs from the clients trust accounts to accounts in her name. In one particular transaction, bank records show that Cline had moved $16,500 from the deceased clients account to this man’s account in an apparent attempt to maintain access to the funds. When the male client discovered the deposit, he notified his bank as he knew the money was not his. This discovery shed light on the personal accounts Cline was using to deposit stolen funds.
APS personnel requested cooperation from Cline to review documents during their investigation, but she refused.
The case detective issued subpoenas for Clines’ bank accounts and established a timeline for all the money transfers by Cline as she stole from the victims.
On September 13, 2017, Cline met with the case detective and essentially denied knowledge or responsibility regarding money transfers for personal use. She also refused to provide the documents requested earlier in the investigation. Cline was arrested and booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Fraudulent Schemes and Theft. She has since been released after posting a $7500 bond.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov