Fmr. police commander arrested for financial elder abuse

November 16, 2012 9:40:16 PM PST
A former police commander is in county jail in Oakland. The one-time Pinole cop is accused of the financial abuse of an 82-year-old woman.

UPDATE: Elizabeth Regalado was arrested Friday by Hayward police.

Pleasanton police arrested Matthew Messier after a four month investigation. They discovered Messier and his wife took control of the 82-year-old's home, bank account, cars and safety deposit box -- assets amounting to about $750,000.

Matthew Messier, 36, was a commander with the Pinole Police Department when investigators say he used his position of authority to convince the Pleasanton woman to sign over all her assets

"Property and other assets probably range is estimated about $750,000," Pleasanton Police Sgt. Kurt Schlehuber said.

Schlehuber was one of the investigators in the case that began in July when a social worker with the county's adult protective services noticed some problems with the woman's assets. Schlehuber says Messier's wife, 30-year-old Elizabeth Regalado, was also involved.

"They gained the trust of the victim including an actual trust of the victim's estate where they were named as trustees," Schlehuber said.

The Alameda County districts attorney's complaint lists 14 counts of financial elder abuse that range from grand theft to practicing law without a license. Regalado is being charged with conspiracy. She was supposed to turn herself in Friday morning.

"She is aware that she is wanted; she told us she was going to turn herself in last night and she still has not," Schlehuber said.

The unidentified 82-year-old woman is now under the protection of the county's public guardian, according to Lisa Lahowe the director of the county's adult protection division.

"In this case that has happened and we have temporary conservatorship of this individual to protect the assets and protect her lifestyle and make sure there is not further abuse," Lahowe said.

Messier resigned from his post a police commander while under investigation. He was arraigned Friday morning and did not enter a plea. His bail has been set at $322,000. Police are asking his wife Elizabeth Regalado to turn herself in. They have put out a warrant for her arrest.


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