MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — A Knox County couple was indicted on theft charges after an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s office found they stole nearly $750,000 from a relative’s estate and bought a farm with it.
Lisa Braniff, 59, of Mount Vernon was indicted on two counts of theft and one count of forgery. Her husband, Joseph Braniff, 63, also of Mount Vernon, was indicted on two counts of theft, Attorney General Dave Yost’s Office announced March 11.
According to investigators, Lisa Braniff stole her mother’s money to purchase a horse farm on Daniels Road, in Mount Vernon, and to fund her lifestyle.
She had power of attorney for her mother beginning in 2015 while her mother was in a nursing home. Soon after that, Lisa Braniff and her husband began liquidating her mother’s assets, according to a press release from the Yost’s office.
Lisa Braniff was supposed to be paying for her mother’s care at a central Ohio nursing home, but she stopped making payments, the release stated.
An investigation began after the money ran out and Lisa Braniff was removed as caretaker. An attorney and master guardian was appointed guardian in 2018 and alerted authorities to the situation.
A grand jury returned charges March 8. Knox County authorities subsequently raided the Braniff’s farm and their assets were frozen by a court-ordered injunction.
Braniff’s mother, who had severe dementia, died from COVID-19 in December.
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