Couple charged with exploiting elderly Augusta resident

Two people accused of taking advantage of an elderly Augusta man were denied bond Friday at their initial appearance hearing.

 

John A. Unger, 49, and Julia S. Hunter, 60, have been in jail since their arrest late on Christmas Eve by Richmond County Sheriff Investigator Carole Romero who went to the west Augusta home of a retired medical school professor to check on his welfare.

Hunter said Friday in Richmond County Magistrate Court that she was the 88-year-old man’s girlfriend, and Unger said he had permission to use the elderly man’s credit cards. Presiding Judge H. Scott Allen told them both to save their claims for their lawyers.

Unger is charged with exploitation of an elderly or disabled person and four counts of financial transaction card fraud. Hunter is charged with exploitation of an elderly or disabled person, possession of methamphetamine and possession of oxycodone.

Unger is accused of exploitation for allegedly misusing the man’s credit cards, and Hunter is accused of exploitation for allegedly not taking care of the man as she was hired to do.

According to the arrest warrants the judge referenced Friday, the sheriff investigator found the house dirty and overrun by drug addicts. The investigator also found a 55-gallon drum of a chemical substance that can be used to make illegal drugs such as methamphetamine.

According to the sheriff’s incident report, a neighbor of the elderly man called his daughter because he and other neighbors were concerned about the number of people coming and going from his home late in the evening. The neighbor was concerned the elderly man was being taken advantage of. The daughter called Romero seeking help.

When the investigator arrived at the home, Unger was attempting to leave in the man’s vehicle, and Hunter gave her a false name.

According to the incident report, the alleged criminal activity took place from Dec. 11 to Christmas Eve.

The judge denied bond for Unger and Hunter because of their extensive criminal history.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com

 

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