Nacogdoches family picking up the pieces after bank denies fraudulent claim

Lois Molandes
Lois Molandes
Molly Hoya
Molly Hoya
Source: Nacogdoches County Jail
Source: Nacogdoches County Jail

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It's been one month since we last told you about an 89-year-old Nacogdoches woman who fell victim to a scheme of fraud after her housekeeper was arrested and charged with forgery to the elderly when 32 fraudulent checks were cashed at a Regions Bank in the elderly woman's name.

Now, Lois Molandes, is facing a battle with Regions after they denied her fraud claim saying she did not file within the required 30-day window, and it's leaving an even more financial struggle on her.

Molandes is unable to walk, or hear very well, and has been left with no choice but to move into a nursing home because she needs 24-hour care.

"She had a good day today. I think she enjoys the company here. So, it's just hard being away from the house," said Molly Hoya, Molandes granddaughter.

Molandes says she likes her nursing home, but misses her home she shared with her late husband.

"I would prefer to be at home if I had someone to wait on me," Molandes said.

The person who used to wait on Molandes is 51-year-old Traci Konrad who recently posted bail after she was arrested on forgery to the elderly in November.

According to an arrest affidavit, Konrad allegedly stole around $7,000, but Hoya says more checks have come in since the arrest topping the total off at $14,000, which is all of Molandes life savings.

While Molandes is able to stay at the nursing home now, Hoya says it won't be much longer until Molandes will have to move out.

"Really to be honest with you, she doesn't have the money. She doesn't even make a third of what it costs her to stay here," said Hoya.

The family says it's a struggle, especially since Regions Bank is now denying their fraud claim.

In a letter the East Texas News obtained from Regions Bank it says "reimbursement is denied based on the claim being reported untimely. The Deposit Agreement states, unauthorized, or fraudulent items must be reported to the Bank in writing within a reasonable amount of time, which is defined as 30 days after your statement is mailed."

But the family says they filed the claim on November 6, 2013 for fraudulent checks discovered in October, but the bank discovered the fraud began in August. In the letter it says "the first reported item posted in your August 21,2013 statement; the affidavit was signed November 12, 2013, which is beyond the 30-day reporting guidelines."

"All she has now is what she draws each month of her social security and being in a nursing home. Medicare will pay for it for the first 20 days, but after that then we are left to figure out how it is that we are going to continue to take care of her," Hoya said.

Molandes says she wants to go home, but feels safer inside the nursing home.

"It makes me afraid to keep hiring people, so that's another reason why I would stay because I don't have the money for thieves," Molandes said.

The Nacogdoches County District Attorney's office has contacted the family regarding information for a trial. The family says they are in the process of getting an attorney.

The East Texas News reached out to Konrad for a statement today and she refused to comment. We also reached out to Evelyn Mitchell, the spokeswoman for Regions Financial via email in regards to the letter that was sent to Molandes, but was told the bank could not comment on the matter because they do not discuss specific customer relationships.

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