MADISON, W.Va. — A Connecticut woman who stole $800,000 from her elderly Boone County aunt avoided prison time during her sentencing Thursday in Boone County Circuit Court.

Margaret Beam, 76, pleaded guilty earlier this year to embezzlement. Boone County Prosecutor Keith Randolph tells MetroNews Beam came from Connecticut to gain power of attorney from her aunt and then began taking money from her. The victim is now 96-years-old.

The judge sentenced Beam Thursday to 1-10 years in prison but suspended the sentence and ordered her on probation for five years. She has to pay all of the money back. The court ordered payments of $500 a month.

Prosecutor Randolph said an alert neighbor noticed the victim was having some financial problems and got suspicious. He contacted State Police.

Randolph said a significant portion of the stolen money has been retrieved. He said the victim can now get some relief. He said she was worried after the theft she wouldn’t have enough money to pay for her own funeral.

Prosecutor Randolph said Beam’s age was taken into consideration as part of her sentencing.

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  • griff

    sounds like the Nicholas co judge that sentenced my dead beat xhusband to payments instead of jail time & he was out of the county by the end of the week. the only payments received was the money that was garnished by the state, then he would quit that job & move on again

  • BH

    At least put the niece on home confinement. Five years probation is just too easy.

  • FungoJoe

    Maybe as part of her probation and her community service, the judge can have stand on the Boone Co. Couthouse lawn in the middle of Madison with a sign that reads in big bold letters "I am a Theif!"

  • Jim slide

    Jail time would not benefit the victim in this situation. The victim likely needs that extra $500.00 per month. Sending the dirt bag neice to jail seems ideal. But if we lock up the scumbag neice to jail she will not be able to work to pay the court order 500.00. Now a judgement requiring her to pay $500.00 per month while the victim is living and jail time upon her death is what I think should be the sentence.

    • Randy

      I like that idea.

  • Randy

    Great. In about 134 years the 76 yr old will have paid her debt and the 96 yr old will get her money back.

    • tracyo64

      Do you people just skim these stories, or what?
      "...a significant portion of the stolen money has been retrieved."

    • DWM

      Since the criminal and has about 10 years to live, that means that $60,000 of the $800,000 will be paid off. I would have preferred she see jail.

  • RogerD

    My guess is it would have had a different outcome if it were a nephew instead of a niece. Women seem to fare better in the WV court system.

    • JMB

      Sad but true. But get ready to get flamed for this post.

  • MOCO man

    I would have taken her (Beam) into consideration too. At the age of 76, she should be old enough to know not to steal........TEN YEARS plus restitution.......