A Florida woman has been charged with stealing more than $1 million from her mother in Henderson and then telling the victim “I hope you die so I can spit on your grave,” according to police and court records.
Deborah Lynn Burnette, 64, was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on Tuesday on charges of theft of more than $100,000 and exploiting an older or vulnerable person. An arrest warrant secured by Henderson police for Burnette indicates the charges stem from a complaint filed with authorities in February 2021 by Burnette’s mother.
Burnette’s mother, according to police, told detectives that her husband was seriously ill at the time, and Burnette had offered to come to Henderson from North Carolina where she lived in 2021 to help her mom care for her dying spouse. But when Burnette arrived, police said, Burnette seemed intent on getting her name onto her mother’s bank account.
“While Deborah was in Nevada, she verbally abused (her mother) and bullied her into adding Deborah to her bank account,” police wrote in the arrest warrant.
Police said Burnette then promptly transferred $1,070,012 from her mother’s bank account into her own bank account through a series of wire transfers. When Burnette’s mother and the woman’s daughter-in-law questioned where the money went, police said Burnette was abusive.
“(Her mother) told me that she will never forget what Deborah said to her, how she got all her money and stated, ‘I hope you starve now,’ and ‘I hope you die so I can spit on your grave,’ ” police said.
A detective executed a series of search warrants and subpoenas in the case, confirming the wire transfers and the draining of the mother’s bank account. The detective then spoke with Burnette.
“Deborah told me she did transfer the money, but she did not steal it from her mother,” police said.
Burnette told police her mother asked her to “safeguard” the money for her, according to police. Police said they were able to freeze Burnette’s bank account, but detectives did not elaborate in the warrant about how much money was recovered.
Henderson Justice Court records indicate Burnette was recently extradited to Henderson from Florida. Police said she previously lived in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
During an arraignment in Justice Court on Tuesday, Burnette was ordered transferred to the Clark County Detention Center so she could be released on her own recognizance while on house arrest. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for May 24. An attorney with the Clark County public defender’s office has been appointed to represent Burnette.
Contact Glenn Puit by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.