On Tuesday Oct. 4, a Charlevoix County jury deliberated for one hour before finding Frederick William Cords Jr., 48, of Central Lake, guilty as charged of defrauding a vulnerable adult of $50,000 or more but less than $100,000.
The crime carries with it a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison; however, Cords will be sentenced as a habitual offender, fourth offense, which increases the maximum penalty to life in prison.
The case was prosecuted by Charlevoix County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mark Muniak.
Cords was previously convicted of felonies for larceny in a building, writing a check on a closed account and uttering and publishing.
Following the jury’s verdict, Charlevoix County 33rd Circuit Judge Roy C. Hayes III revoked Cords’ bond and remanded him to the Charlevoix County Jail where he will be held pending his sentencing on Oct. 28.
Testimony in the case showed that Cords was investigated for his dealings with an 86-year old Marion Township man.
Bank records showed that, from September 2012 through June 2014, Cords received over $80,000 from the man in cash, checks and through a car loan the man took out on behalf of Cords.
The Adult Protective Services division of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services investigated the matter, as did the Michigan State Police.
In his closing argument, Muniak described Cords as a predator who sought out a weak and vulnerable victim, became involved in his life and then manipulated him for money, including late-night visits to the man’s house where he would pound on the door or window until the man would answer and give him his ATM card.
“This was a situation where a team effort resulted in the protection of this man and the prosecution of the victim,” Muniak said. “Savanah Cool of DHS and Trooper Jim Armstrong of the State Police did a quality investigation which not only stopped the victimization but also led to consequences on the part of the defendant.”