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Originally published Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 8:52 PM

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Anchorage couple sentenced in theft of son’s fund

An Anchorage couple bought a house, cars and jewelry and paid $128,000 on credit-card bills with their adopted son’s trust fund. When they were done, $15.05 remained from $824,000.

The Associated Press

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ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage couple was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for stealing thousands of dollars from the trust fund of their adopted son.

Edward Drones, 62, and Lori-Wiley-Drones, 57, were sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in January to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The state took the boy from his abusive and neglectful father and put him into foster care with the couple in 1996, when he was 5 or 6, according to prosecutors.

The couple eventually adopted the boy and sued the state in 2005 for failure to protect, saying he should not have been living with his father.

Prosecutors said the state paid the boy about $824,000, which was put into a trust fund just before he turned 18.

A court-appointed conservator for the fund balked when the couple said the boy wanted to buy the family’s house, and the couple ultimately had Edward Drones appointed as the conservator in 2009, prosecutors said.

“He assured the state court that he understood his obligation to keep the child’s property separate from his own and never to use the child’s property for his own benefit,” prosecutors said in a statement.

The couple spent about $1,000 a day during the first month after taking control of the trust fund, according to prosecutors.

They bought a house in Washington state for $220,000, vehicles totaling about $67,000, and jewelry worth more than $38,000, while directing about $128,000 to credit-card bills, prosecutors said.

The couple left $15.05 in the trust fund, according to prosecutors.

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