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Friedlund’s antics at an end

A sentence on Friday of 10 years likely ends any chance of John “Herb” Friedlund of ever seeing another sunrise as a free man.

At 79, and in poor health, Friedlund also faces several felonies in federal court now that he has been convicted of raiding the retirement account of Frances Swan, who is now 107. Nearly $1 million is gone.

In a rambling three-hour interview in April, Friedlund made it sound as if Swan was the one who wanted to meet the young men on gay websites. It was she, Friedlund said, who recommended buying one young man in Texas a new car and sending him money for a surgery.

It was always somebody else: Frances' family or her caretakers who were stealing from her. A jury of his peers saw it differently last week.

Read previous coverage here, here and here.

Charges mount for Friedlund

A Stevens County man charged with illegally raiding hundreds of thousands of dollars from the elderly woman under his care has been ordered to remain in federal custody at the Spokane County Jail.

John “Herb” Friedlund, 79, sought release Monday from U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno. But she ordered Friedlund — who takes medicine for a heart condition — held in custody pending reconsideration.

Friedlund was indicted last week and pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of money laundering and five counts of failing to file income taxes on money he withdrew from the retirement accounts of Frances Swan, who is now 107.

Investigators allege in both state and federal cases that Friedlund drained Swan's funds and wired large sums of money to men he met on the sexually explicit website gaysugardaddy.com.

The state case will remain on hold as long as Friedlund remains detained on the federal charges. If he is released, it would free up Stevens County prosecutors to proceed with multiple charges in state court.

Read previous coverage here.

Elderly theft suspect arrested again

A man accused of draining a 106-year-old woman's retirement savings was arrested in Spokane after missing a court appearance.

John H. “Herb” Friedlund, 78, failed to appear for an arraignment on a witness tampering charge last month in Spokane County Superiro Court. He was arrested Wednesday on a $10,000 warrant and appeared in court Thursday where Judge Jerome Leveque allowed him to be released from jail on his own recognizance.

Friedlund faces theft charges in Stevens County for allegedly stealing money from Frances T. Swan, whom he was caring for in Kettle Falls.

Deputies found Swan covered in filth and begging for food in May after Friedlund asked them to retrieve his medicine from the home before he was taken to jail in an animal cruelty investigation.

Friedlund left jail in June on $25,000 bond by Carl “Rich” Jessen, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Prosecutors allege Friedlund spent Swan's money on vehicles, a horse trailer and a man’s surgery in Texas.

Friedlund is accused of calling that man, Steven M. Smith, in August asking him to tell investigators that Swan authorized previous money transfers from Friedlund to Smith totaling about $225,000. Authorities believe the calls took place in Spokane County.

Past coverage:

Aug. 4: Caretaker's alleged spending outlined

Aug. 2: Elder neglect suspect arrested for felony theft

Aug. 2: Theft charges likely in 106-year-old's case

June 21: Man held after police find famished woman

Elderly-abuse suspect arrested again

The man charged with mistreating and stealing retirement funds from a 106-year-old Kettle Falls woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with witness tampering. John H. “Herb” Friedlund, 78, was arrested early this morning at a residence in Deer Park.

Stevens County prosecutors said that Friedlund contacted a witness in the theft case, Steven Smith of Anna, Texas, and told Smith to say that 106-year-old Frances T. Swan authorized previous money transfers from Friedlund to Smith that totaled about $225,000.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 4: Caretaker's alleged spending outlined

Aug. 2: Elder neglect suspect arrested for felony theft

Aug. 2: Theft charges likely in 106-year-old's case

June 21: Man held after police find famished woman

Caretaker’s alleged spending outlined

The man charged with draining 106-year-old Frances T. Swan’s retirement funds bought vehicles and a horse trailer and even paid for a man’s surgery in Texas, prosecutors alleged in court Wednesday.

 John H. “Herb” Friedlund, 78, of Kettle Falls, was released from jail Wednesday on the $25,000 bond posted in June by Carl “Rich” Jessen, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

While the court record has not yet been filed, Deputy Prosecutor Lech Radzimski said in court that as part of nine counts of theft, Friedlund is accused of spending Swan’s money on a surgery for a young man named Steven Smith in Texas, who in total received about $200,000 from Swan’s account, Radzimski said.

Friedlund, who also faces felony criminal mistreatment charges in the case, allegedly also bought a bulldozer, pickup, hay truck and several other items that appeared to provide no benefit to Swan, for whom he had the power of attorney. As a condition of his release, Friedlund was ordered to surrender his passport, checkbook, credit cards and any other means of accessing Swan’s accounts. Friedlund’s power of attorney over Swan’s accounts was removed Tuesday.

Past coverage:

Aug. 2: Elder neglect suspect arrested for felony theft

Aug. 2: Theft charges likely in 106-year-old's case

June 21: Man held after police find famished woman

Elderly-abuse suspect accused of theft

COLVILLE – The man charged with mistreating a 106-year-old Kettle Falls woman was arrested Tuesday at a hearing initially set to allow him to appoint a new attorney to represent him in his criminal matters.

 When John H. “Herb” Friedlund, 78, appeared before Superior Court Judge Al Nielson, he was arrested on nine felony theft charges. The charges allege he raided the retirement accounts of Frances T. Swan, who was discovered May 26 begging for food in her Kettle Falls home, which was riddled with dog feces, rotting food, guns and ammunition.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 2: Theft charges likely in 106-year-old's case

June 21: Man held after police find famished woman

Man’s use of elderly woman’s cash probed

The investigators who rescued a 105-year-old woman in late May from a squalid Kettle Falls, Wash., home are now looking into whether the woman’s care provider was also improperly using her money.

Stevens County sheriff’s Detective James Caruso said he and other deputies on Tuesday again searched the home where on May 26 they found Frances Swan, who has since turned 106, begging for food in a house that was filled with trash, rotting food, dogs and feces.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

June 21: Man held after police rescue famished woman, 105

To nurture, to keep safe, to love

I can't seem to forget about Frances Swan, the 106-year-old woman discovered by Stevens County sheriff's deputies last month. She was hungry and neglected by her “caregiver.”

She asked for food and wanted to be taken to a hospital where people would feed her and talk to her and be nice to her.

I ponder these simple requests in the hectic pace of our lives. Most of us want exactly that: to be nurtured - with food and safety and security; to live in community with other people - a family, given by birth or choice; and to know companionship - in ways of kindness and generosity, selflessness.

Reportedly, the people at a care center in Colville where Frances now lives have answered her plea; she receives food and kindness,care and friendship in a secure home.

May we pause from our hectic lives to offer the same to those who need us.

Woman, 105, found living in squalor

Stevens County deputies discovered a 105-year-old woman begging for food after being asked by an animal cruelty suspect to retrieve his medicine from the squalid Kettle Falls home before taking him to jail.

The woman, Frances Swan, was rescued and now is recuperating at a Colville nursing home, while her self-described caretaker, 78-year-old John H. Friedlund, was charged today with felony criminal mistreatment in connection with the May 26 discovery. Swan, who turns 106 on Wednesday, is believed to be one of the state’s oldest residents.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.