Prosecutors: Former Attorney Stole Over Nearly $625,000 From Dementia Patient, Funded Newspaper

CHARLEROI, Pa. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former Pennsylvania attorney stole nearly $624,000 from a client with dementia and pumped about $110,000 of it into a newspaper he bought with other businessmen last year.

Mail fraud charges were announced Tuesday against Keith Bassi, of Charleroi.

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The charges allege Bassi used a power of attorney to steal the money from the dementia patient’s estate from November 2013 to October 2016 and spent some of it on his stake in Mid Mon Valley Publishing.

The company was formed to buy the assets of the former Valley Independent newspaper from Trib Total Media. The new company publishes the paper under the name Mon Valley Independent.

Bassi’s attorney didn’t immediately comment.

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The paper’s general manager, Jeff Oliver, says the charges shouldn’t affect the paper’s operation.

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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