Con man gets max prison sentence after trial


Greenwood, S.C.; August 23, 2018 – A Hodges con man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing more than $100,000 from an elderly neighbor, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Thursday.

John Fitzgerald Anderson, 53, was found guilty Wednesday afternoon of exploitation of a vulnerable adult, receiving stolen goods, failure to stop for blue light, driving under suspension third and subsequent offense, and trespass after notice. A Greenwood County jury returned guilty verdicts on all charges after deliberating for just over three hours.

Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman sentenced Anderson to the maximum sentence on each of the charges: 10 years in prison on receiving stolen goods, five years in prison on exploitation of a vulnerable adult, three years in prison on failure to stop for blue light, 90 days on driving under suspension, and 30 days on trespass after notice. All sentences will run concurrently.

On May 30, 2017, members of the 89-year-old victim’s family filed a police report alleging that Anderson had been taking the elderly woman’s money. The elderly victim had been declared a vulnerable adult in November 2016. Anderson was put on trespass notice at that time and the banks were notified to contact the woman’s family if she showed with Anderson again.

On June 28, 2017, investigators were notified by the family and by a bank that Anderson and the victim had just withdrawn $300 from the victim’s account at First Citizen’s Bank in Ware Shoals. Deputies with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office spotted Anderson immediately and attempted to pull Anderson over. Anderson immediately began to flee from deputies and led them on a chase for nearly four minutes at a high rate of speed before crashing his vehicle.

Anderson was indicted for stealing $116,602 between January 1, 2017 and June 28, 2017. The family believes Anderson was able to coerce the victim into giving him more than $250,000 prior to January 1, 2017.

Deputy Solicitor Yates Brown and Assistant Solicitor Anna Sumner handled the case for the state with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Windy Chappell and Victim Advocates, Mary Ann Stroup and Sarah Parris. Anderson was represented by Tristan Shaffer and Chris Fedalei of the Greenwood County Public Defender’s Office.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Inv. Ronny Powell and Dep. Urban Mitchell Jr. of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office in securing the conviction.

“Only a despicable, wicked person would rob an elderly woman of her entire life’s savings,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “This victim and her late husband did everything right, saved their whole lives and retired to enjoy their twilight years. John Anderson took advantage of a lady’s generosity for his own selfish gain. We are satisfied that justice has been served and Anderson will be a resident of our prison system for a long time.”

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