Jury finds Kim Yost Fraley guilty of exploiting mother-in-law
Published 12:10 am Sunday, June 5, 2022
SALISBURY — A jury on Wednesday found Kim Yost Fraley guilty of three counts of exploitation of an older adult. The conviction comes two years after Fraley, 58, was arrested and charged for withdrawing large sums of money from accounts belonging to her now deceased mother-in-law, Edith Fraley.
Two of the counts of which Fraley was convicted are Class F felonies because the property involved was greater than $100,000 in value. The third count is a Class H felony because property involved was less than $20,000 in value. The court dismissed three counts of obtaining property by false pretense against Fraley.
The court postponed Fraley’s sentencing because she is “currently experiencing medical issues that need to be further investigated before the sentencing hearing occurs,” according to court documents. The Rowan County Probation Office will conduct a pre-sentence investigation. The results will be provided to the court as soon as possible, at which point scheduling for sentencing will be set.
Jordan Ford and Whitney N. Shaffer, financial crimes prosecutors for the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, represented the state in the case. Ford said they are very happy with the result of the case and are appreciative to the jurors.
“We always reiterate our thanks and appreciation for the hard work of the jurors,” he said. “I think we all thought we’d be there for three or four days and it ended up being a two-week trial.”
He declined to comment more specifically on the case because it could be appealed.
Judge Jonathan Perry from Union County presided over the trial, which started in Rowan County Superior Court on May 23 — two years after Fraley was arrested in Brunswick County on the Rowan County charges.
The initial indictment filed May 18, 2020, by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation stated that Kim Yost Fraley “made withdrawals from Thrivent Financial account (number redacted) by forging the signature of Edith Fraley and did so while Edith Fraley lacked the capacity to consent to such withdrawals.” Fraley was an employee at Thrivent Financial during the time the withdrawals occurred.
Fraley’s mother-in-law, Edith Fraley, died in Nov. 2019.
Cindy Miller, Edith Fraley’s daughter, filed a civil suit against Fraley and her husband Bill Fraley, who is still listed as the owner of Chapman Custom Signs by the Better Business Bureau.
The lawsuit alleged that between 2013 and 2017, in the course of Kim Fraley’s employment at Thrivent, she and Bill Fraley engaged in a “fraudulent and reckless course of action whereby they converted nearly all of plaintiff’s account assets, being three Thrivent annuities and the F&M account, totaling over $370,000, for their own personal use and enjoyment, and to the detriment and loss of plaintiff.”