Mason City man pleads not guilty to financial exploitation of dependent adult

MASON CITY — A Mason City man has pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $50,000 from the bank account of a dependent adult.

62-year-old Michael Studer was charged with first-degree theft and financial exploitation of an older individual, both Class B felonies, 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.

Studer was due in court for his arraignment hearing next week, but court records show he recently filed a written plea of not guilty to the charges in Cerro Gordo County District Court.

Studer’s trial has been scheduled to start on February 28th.