LYNDEN - Kenneth Dwayne Rogers bought a beautiful new house in Lynden, spent thousands on remodeling and landscaping and even bought his wife a three-stone diamond ring.
He did it all with money that should have been used to care for his elderly mother after he was given power of attorney with control over her finances - more than $400,000.
Once he'd burned through all her savings, he went to the state asking for assistance with her care.
Rogers, 58, is now in jail and was forced to pay back more than $494,000 he took from 80-year-old Mildred Rogers.
"There is no question that he didn't fulfill his obligation, number one, as a son and second, as power of attorney," Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney Dave McEachran said. "Using her money and then trying to turn her over to the state, that was reprehensible."
It all started in March 2006, when Rogers got power of attorney after his mother's Bonney Lake home was condemned, according to court records. The next month he moved his mother and adult disabled brother into a Bellingham apartment. He got $105,000 from the sale of her property and $300,000 from his mother's savings. His mother also received $700 per month in social security.
Within months of getting control of her money, Rogers used it to buy a $540,000 home in Lynden, thousands of dollars in furniture and a ring worth more than $7,700.
"None of that was for the interest of the mom," the prosecutor said.
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