Man accused of embezzling from mother waives hearing


A man accused of stealing more than $130,000 from his elderly mother appeared in Moffat County Court Tuesday and waived his preliminary hearing.

John Alva Bartlett, 67, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and is now scheduled to be arraigned on May 20 on charges of theft, theft from an at-risk adult, neglect of an at-risk adult and third-degree assault of an at-risk adult.

Bartlett was arrested by Craig police on Feb. 28 on the charge of crimes against an at-risk adult or juvenile.

An "at-risk adult" is a person older than 18 who is unable to care or provide for him or herself because of mental or physical incapacitation.

According to court documents, Bartlett allegedly embezzled $131,465.68 that belonged to his mother, Violette Bartlett, 100.

Bartlett placed his mother in Valley View Manor in April of 2001, but has not paid for her residency. The bill stands in excess of $30,000, according to court documents.

Bartlett also placed a lien of more than $15,000 on his mother's house at 601 Rose St., which he lived in while Violette Bartlett was in Valley View Manor. He also allegedly physically and verbally abused his mother, the documents state.

Violette Bartlett's granddaughter, Bridget Bonderud, was granted emergency guardianship of Violette Bartlett on Feb. 11. Bonderud also assumed control of Violette Bartlett's finances. According to court documents, Bonderud plans to sell the house on Rose Street and pay off the outstanding Valley View Manor bill.

John Alva Bartlett indicated to the court Tuesday that he is attempting to acquire counsel.

He has claimed to be a lawyer, but the Colorado Bar Association does not show him to be licensed to practice law in Colorado. The California Bar Association has Bartlett listed as "Not Entitled to practice law in California," according to court documents.

Bartlett has been free on a $20,000 surety bond since March 24.

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