Guthrie Woman Arrested For Exploitation Of Disabled Adult

Tuesday, December 16th 2014, 7:23 pm
By: News 9

Thousands of dollars went missing from a Guthrie man's trust fund and police pointed the finger at his own sister. Barbara Burrow bonded out of jail Tuesday night.

The missing funds were spotted by Burrow's brother's DHS case worker in 2013. The money was part of a "special needs trust" created from a Medicaid settlement to financially support her brother diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Burrow eventually told DHS the money was used "mainly for just survival, just to pay bills and things." But when asked earlier by her brother's case worker for his banking records, Burrow "avoided her questions and refused to supply current accounting records," which at last check, had about $20,000 in it.

Court documents stated Burrow was the trustee over that account at the BancFirst in Guthrie. It was money that was supposed to be spent on her special needs brother.

Burrows later told DHS "she had been through some hardships and borrowed some of the money and had not been able to pay it back." She also claimed she didn't realize she'd nearly depleted the account.

We went to her home on Tuesday to question her about these transactions, but she didn't answer.

DHS told News 9, sadly, this type of scenario is not uncommon.

“Most family members do a good job taking care of their loved ones, but that is why we have DHS to monitor those clients and those people who are vulnerable,” said Katelynn Burns, a DHS spokesperson.

While missing funds isn't uncommon, this case was one of the largest amount taken from one of their clients, which is why case managers said they keep up with all aspects of their client's lives, including banking records.

Burrow was charged with a felony for exploitation of a disabled adult. She's pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Burrow would face up to 10 years in prison. Her next court date is scheduled for February.