NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After a week-long trial, a federal jury convicted a man of 12 felony counts related to an elaborate scheme to defraud an elderly widow with dementia of over one million dollars, United States Attorney Henry Leventis announced Friday.
Karl Hampton, 65, and his wife, Deborah Hampton, of Franklin, were indicted in 2021 for conspiracy and money laundering, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Karl Hampton was also charged with wire and mail fraud.
During the trial, evidence showed that Karl Hampton met the victim while he was working as an exterminator for a pest control company based in Belle Meade and provided services in her home.
Between 2018 and 2020, Karl Hampton tricked the victim into believing that he would care for her personally and financially. According to the DOJ, he portrayed himself as the victim’s “personal representative,” as well as her “son” or her “godson.”
In April 2019, Karl Hampton convinced the victim, who was later diagnosed with dementia, to sign over her Power of Attorney and to name him in her Revocable Living Trust and will. The trust specified that Karl Hampton and his wife would be beneficiaries when the woman died.
He then drained her bank accounts, took out a $500,000 line of credit in her name using her property as collateral and amassed huge charges on her credit cards for his own personal expenses.
In total, Karl Hampton defrauded the woman of $1.2 million. The DOJ said he used that money to buy luxury items including a Lexus GX460 and a 4.3 karat diamond ring, and often spent over $1,000 per day on lottery tickets.
In January 2020, Karl Hampton used $170,000 of the money from the line of credit to purchase an ownership interest in his own name in a pest control business located in Franklin.
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 11. Deborah Hampton pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering in February and will be sentenced on June 16.