An Appellate Court in California has overturned Glenn Neasham’s 2011 conviction for theft from an elder stemming from the insurance agent’s sale of an annuity to a then 83-year-old woman.
In the judgment handed down Tuesday by the Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District, Division Three, jurists wrote that “although there was conflicting evidence as to the elder’s ability to understand the nature of the transaction, there was no evidence that defendant [Neasham] appropriated the elder’s funds to his own use or to the benefit of anyone other than the elder herself, nor was there evidence that the defendant made any misrepresentations or used any artifice in connection with the sale.”
Further, the court ruled that the instructions given to the jury were incorrect in that the panel was told it had only to find “the purchase of the annuity deprived the elder of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of her property, eliminating the necessity of proving that defendant had any such intention.”
“I was overwhelmed with joy yesterday,” said Neasham in an interview with LifeHealthPro.com. “My family and I are ecstatic about the outcome because it was reversed in full. We’re hoping we can get on with our lives, get our insurance license back and move forward.” Neasham did 100 hours of community service and paid a $5,000 fine in connection with the case.
The case could be returned to the local district attorney’s office, according to Neasham. His attorney at the trial, Mitchell Hauptman, told him that it was “highly unlikely” the case would be re-tried because Schuber’s money was returned to her in full with interest in 2012; therefore, there was no theft. Further, Neasham said that Schuber is now deceased.
Calls to Rachel Abelson, the Deputy District Attorney who tried the case, were not returned by press time. In a local newspaper report, she was quoted as saying there was “a possibility of appealing the decision.”