A Santa Rosa man pleaded no contest today in Sonoma County Superior Court to elder financial abuse and forgery. Paul Alexander Tart, 29, admitting stealing more than $100,000 from his wife’s 97-year-old grandfather and forging checks over the past several months. He faces five years in state prison when he is sentenced Nov. 15. Tart forged checks, stole and used an ATM card associated with the elderly man’s checking account and cashed out the victim’s annuity, District Attorney Jill Ravitch said.
The grandfather reported the missing money on Sept. 2. Tart admitted to sheriff’s investigators he took the money to support a prescription drug habit, Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Raasch said. Tart also was charged with impersonating a military veteran. That misdemeanor count and two felony forgery counts will be dismissed at sentencing. Tart had a Marine uniform with medals, including a purple heart, attached to it, Raasch said.
Tart also had photos of him in the Marine uniform posing with members of his family who actually thought he was in the Marine Corps, Raasch said. Tart even got a U.S.M.C. tattoo on his lower left leg, Raasch said. Tart also told friends he worked as a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy, dressed in public in a sheriff’s office polo shirt and had a gun belt with a replica Glock firearm, Raasch said. Tart recently purchased a black 2006 Crown Victoria vehicle, attached a push bumper to the front of it and glued antennae on top to resemble a police car, Raasch said.
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