Former Port Orange police officer, wife, does not advocate exploitation, counterfeiting

The defendant’s lawyer speaks of “sibling rivalry” and “poor billing”.

His older brother says no, it was about money and his mother’s welfare, but admits that he thinks there was jealousy when he received the flag from her father’s funeral.

It so happened, however, that a former Port Orange police sergeant and his wife were convicted on November 30, after failing to bring charges, on alleging they had defrauded his mother by forging signatures and defrauding his mother of more than $ 300,000 had sold their house.

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In not contesting a competition, Steven and Mary Braddock of New Smyrna Beach are not soliciting an affidavit describing how he forged his late father’s signature on a document that gave him the $ 10 guarantee deed before the Selling the house there. The affidavit also describes how the Braddocks:

  • failed to pay his mother’s bills at the nursing home where she was being cared for for dementia, which resulted in her being evicted;
  • transferred $ 258,000 from his parents’ account to their own – then used that plus the return on home sales to help them build a “one-of-a-kind” barn house;
  • took nearly $ 6,500 in cash, charged his mother’s credit card $ 12,000, and used her debit card for nearly $ 28,000 more on purchases including ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Bass Pro Shops, Marshalls, Kohls, Bath & Body Works and a Carnival Cruise.

It was Steven’s older brother, Andrew Braddock, who informed authorities that he suspected documents had been forged.

This information was filed against Steven Michael Braddock on October 23, 2019, charged with elderly exploitation and forgery.  Braddock was then a police sergeant in Port Orange.

The Braddocks’ non-competitive submissions were brought before District Judge Raul Zambrano on October 13. The husband and wife are at risk of being convicted of exploitation of an elderly or disabled adult and forgery. Her attorney Michael Politis said he would argue that given a clean history, they should avoid incarceration.

Sons of a Marine, DEA agent

Joseph and Susan Braddock adopted two sons, Andrew and Steven, and raised them in a household of values ​​in the late 1960s, Andrew Braddock said in a recent interview.

“My father was a DEA agent. He retired as a DEA agent after 23 years as a Philadelphia police officer and a Marine,” said Andrew Braddock. “He didn’t raise us in a religious household, but where integrity and honor were extremely important.”

Susan and Joseph Braddock pose with their grandchildren in an undated photo.  Her son Steven, a former Port Orange police sergeant, and his wife Mary did not advocate a contest in a case alleging he had forged his late father's name on a deed, sold his mother's house, and used the proceeds to realize their own dream

The elder Braddocks married in 1962. After his time with the Philadelphia Police Department, Joseph Braddock worked as a Supervisor Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, a job that took him from Philadelphia to Singapore to New York to South Korea and finally back to Washington, where he was retired in 2000. When they retired, the couple moved to Florida, where their younger son Steven was a Port Orange police officer.

Andrew Braddock, who lives in York, Pennsylvania, said he tried his hand at criminal justice and joined immigration and customs shortly after 9/11. “Some people are made for law enforcement. I am not. I was too nice to the prisoners, ”he said.

Joseph Braddock died on April 6, 2017 at the age of 79.

At the funeral, Andrew, the eldest son, received the folded flag that was presented to the family for military service by Joseph Braddock.

“He was offended that I got the flag,” Andrew said of his younger brother. “I took it with me. … (Steven) came up with a reason to cut off contact with me and then started doing what he was doing.”

In the indictment affidavit, FDLE Special Agent Mark Mynheir reported that Steven Braddock said during an interview that her father came to him in 2014 and asked him to become the principal of his parents and that Andrew is taking money from him. “

Steven Braddock told the agent that he suspected that much of the money Andrew took from her father went to a church Andrew attended.

Andrew, in turn, told The News-Journal that he has received roughly $ 5,500 or $ 6,000 in the past 20 years.

“Whatever (Joseph Braddock) gave me, he gave Steven the same amount,” said Andrew Braddock.

Months after Joseph Braddock died, Andrew said he searched public records to see if his father’s will had been processed. He wasn’t sure if his father’s estate would be shared among family members or if everything that would have been fine with him would remain with his mother.

Her mother, Susan Braddock, lived at Grace Manor, a nursing home diagnosed with dementia.

Forged signature sent home for $ 10

Instead of finding a reference to the will, Andrew noticed something he found unusual. On August 30, 2017, a guarantee deed was drawn up in which ownership of two parent-owned properties was transferred to Steven and Mary for $ 10. The document was “signed” by Joseph and Braddock and certified with a date of March 7, which would have been before his death but was recorded almost six months later.

The value of the two properties totaled $ 432,000, according to a police report.

Andrew shared his concerns with Port Orange Police Chief Thomas Grimaldi, who in turn referred the case to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for investigation.

The woman who notarized the deed, Sherilyn Solana, was an accountant with the Port Orange Police Department and a personal friend of Steven Braddock, the FDLE report reads. She admitted that she had not met Joseph Braddock and therefore did not see his signature. Warranty certificate witness Tina Zalich told police she saw Steven Braddock sign his father’s name.

The FDLE later found problems with a document handing Susan Braddock’s power of attorney to Steven and Mary. That gave them the authority to withdraw money from their bank accounts.

Steven and Mary, who married in 2016, sold the house where his parents lived on Forest Preserve Boulevard in Port Orange and took rent on a second property, a condominium, the FDLE report said. It was also detailed how the couple received, spent, or billed more than $ 300,000 of their mother’s money.

Politis, the Braddocks attorney, said Steven and Mary tried to help their parents by building a “barndominium,” a large barn with the mother on one side, the father on the other and she in the Would live in the middle.

The father died before the project was completed so part of the dream was lost. At the time, the mother was in a nursing home.

The barn house has 1,800 square feet of finished living space plus unfinished space, enough to park an RV. It sits on 3 acres and is on the market for $ 775,000.

Attributing the expense to “poor bookkeeping”, Politis added, “I don’t believe there was any criminal intent.”

While Susan Braddock was at Grace Manor between August 7, 2016 and January 11, 2019, the nursing home’s log showed that Andrew – who lived in Pennsylvania – visited her five times; Maria, four times; and Steven once.

Dissolving legal entanglements

A civil lawsuit filed in August on behalf of Susan and Andrew Braddock seeks to get back the house that Steven and Mary sold.

While this matter is pending, District Judge Leah Case approved the removal of Steven Braddock as power of attorney and substitute for his mother’s health care system by order dated October 5.

Within three weeks, Susan Braddock had died at the Oaktree Health Care Nursing Home in South Daytona at the age of 82.

Her funeral video included the song “Amazing Grace”.

Andrew Braddock said he had no problem with Steven and Mary living at their mother’s house in Port Orange.

“But when he was selling it, I not only contacted Steve and told him this was wrong,” said Andrew Braddock, “I also contacted the person who bought the house … to let him know that this was fraudulent. “

The buyer, a co-defendant in the civil suit, Brandon Watson, said on an affidavit in court that he did not know the Braddocks when he bought the house and was unaware of the questionable act.

Andrew Braddock said the case was a “Damacles sword” hanging over his head.

“I sold my house and moved into a new house just because I wanted to bring my mother with us. I was in my car on the way to Harrisburg Airport to pick her up … when she died,” he said. “It was a heartbreaking thing. She didn’t want to leave her husband behind.”

Susan Braddock is buried with her husband Joseph in Canaveral National Cemetery, so the brothers – and the courts – must settle their differences.

Port Orange Police Patch

“I only feel sorry for my brother. I have no hate,” said Andrew Braddock. “I saw him visiting (the mother).” “My wife and I were more than ready to go upstairs and give him and his wife a hug. They basically blew us away. “

Steven Braddock retired as a police sergeant in Port Orange in December 2018, a month after FDLE opened its investigation. He resigned after serving in Port Orange Police for 23 years.

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