NORTH ADAMS -- A 32-year-old city man was arraigned in court Friday after allegedly stealing more than $7,000 from a senior entrusted to his care.
Richard H. Murphy, of Houghton Street, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of larceny from a person over 65, improper use of a credit card over $250 and identity fraud in Northern Berkshire District Court.
The charges follow an elder abuse investigation into a complaint filed by North Adams senior Paul Bean, according to police reports filed at the court.
Murphy was Bean's living assistant for three years prior to the complaint, which came following Murphy quitting the position. Bean claimed he became aware shortly after of a Discover card balance of $5,000 he'd had no knowledge of, as well as other missing money.
According to bank statements, Murphy, who'd been in charge of Bean's accounts, had activated Bean's Discover card under his name and address and used it between the months of May and October, 2012, for cash withdrawals of $800.
The total sum of unaccounted-for money, according to police reports, was $7,356.
In an interview with police cited in a report, Murphy claims he had a verbal agreement with Bean where he'd been allowed to borrow funds. According to Murphy, Bean was hostile toward him after he quit the job and this caused Bean to pursue the charges.
Murphy is being held at Berkshire County House of Correction on $200 bail and a pretrial date has been scheduled for March 18.
-- Phil Demers