Mason City man accused of stealing from dependent adult sentenced to probation

MASON CITY — It’s three years probation for a Mason City man who was accused of stealing more than $50,000 from the bank account of a dependent adult.

63-year-old Michael Studer was charged with first-degree theft and financial exploitation of an older individual, both Class B felonies punishable by up to 25 years in prison, after authorities say he committed elder abuse by financial exploitation between June 1st 2021 and December 1st of 2022.

Police say Studer transferred or withdrew over $50,000 from the bank account of the dependent adult as power of attorney and used the funds for his own personal benefit. The criminal complaint says that act allowed the victim’s home to fall into foreclosure and leave the victim in temporary financial distress.

As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Studer pleaded guilty in October to one count of third-degree theft against an older individual, a Class D felony. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors will recommend a deferred judgment and that Studer be placed on three years probation, and also be ordered to pay restitution.

District Judge Rustin Davenport agreed with that recommendation during a sentencing hearing on Monday in Cerro Gordo County District Court, giving Studer the deferred judgment, placing him on three years probation and ordering Studer to make restitution payments for the full amount.