LAKEPORT, Calif. – A former insurance agent convicted by a jury last October of felony theft from an elder was sentenced on Wednesday to probation and three months in the Lake County Jail, a sentence he said he will appeal.
Judge Richard Martin denied the motion for a new trial filed by 52-year-old Glenn Neasham, and also refused to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor before sentencing Neasham to probation and 300 days in jail, according to Deputy District Attorney Rachel Abelson.
Martin stayed all but 90 days of the jail sentence, Abelson said. Neasham is due to turn himself in on April 18.
Neasham said Wednesday that it’s his understanding that he actually will only have to serve 60 days in jail and could be eligible to serve it under home monitoring.
He said he plans to appeal his conviction and sentencing. “The appeal process has already started,” said Neasham.
He said he’s seeking a public defender since he can no longer afford to pay Mitchell Hauptman, the Lakeport defense attorney who represented him at trial.
Neasham said he’s lost his insurance license, his business and his home, and his family has suffered significantly through the process.
“I’ve been serving this community for 23 years,” he said, noting that he had no issues before this case.
In February 2008 Neasham sold an $175,000 annuity that was set to mature in 15 years to then-83-year-old Fran Schuber of Lucerne, whose boyfriend was a Neasham client, according to court documents.
The prosecution alleged that Neasham sold the annuity to Schuber, and provided witnesses who said Neasham was aware that Schuber had dementia.
But Neasham denied that, saying had he known there were any issues with Schuber’s mental competence he never would have sold her the annuity.
He alleged that the day before closing arguments in his trial the prosecution produced a taped interview from April 2008 with Schuber and a District Attorney’s Office investigator. He said Schuber stated she was happy with the product, she moved her money for tax purposes and there was no elder abuse.
Abelson told Lake County News in a previous interview that the tape wasn’t used at trial because the sound quality was very poor and it was difficult to hear.
Neasham said Schuber hasn’t lost anything, and has made $44,000 on her investment in the $175,000 annuity.
Schuber did not testify during Neasham’s trial, as she was placed into a conservatorship due to advanced dementia, Abelson said previously.
In his new trial motion heard Wednesday, Neasham also alleged juror misconduct, and presented juror Robert O’Briant, who told the court that two jurors had made comments about making up their minds based on reading newspaper articles prior to the trial.
Neasham also presented six character witnesses on Wednesday, including clients Roy Parmentier, a Lakeport City Council member, and local author Carolyn Greenlee.
Neasham believes he will be granted an appeal. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.
The appeal motion Neasham is filing is expected to be heard later this month, he said.
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