2 Utahns allegedly took money from elderly man locked in a home

Two Weber County residents are charged in Ogden's 2nd District Court with allegedly locking an elderly man inside a South Ogden home and taking money from his bank account without his knowledge.

Two Weber County residents are charged in Ogden's 2nd District Court with allegedly locking an elderly man inside a South Ogden home and taking money from his bank account without his knowledge. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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OGDEN — Two Weber County residents are accused of locking an elderly man with a dirty catheter inside a bedroom and taking money from his bank account without his knowledge.

Sooletiti Langi, 53, of South Ogden, and Pam Langi, 55, of Ogden, each face charges of exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a second-degree felony, and abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, a third-degree felony.

Last August, police in South Ogden received a call that a neighbor heard a 79-year-old man yelling for help, according to charging documents. Police later found that the man, who used a walker and had a catheter, was locked in a bedroom of the house. An officer climbed through a window and found the locks on the bedroom and a connected bathroom were reversed, leaving the man unable to leave the bedroom, charging documents say. The man's phone was also disconnected, and his catheter was not connected to a collection bag.

The man was taken to a nearby hospital, where staff told police the catheter had not been cleaned or replaced in the past six weeks, and that the man had a urinary tract infection.

While at the hospital, both Langis arrived and allegedly told police they were the man's caretakers. The two allegedly admitted to police that they reversed the locks on the door to ensure the man would not leave the room, turn on the stove or "wander off," charging documents say. Police allege the two later said the man does not have diagnoses that would hamper his ability to use the stove, and that the man does not typically wander off.

Sooletiti Langi allegedly told police that Pam Langi had not paid the man's phone bill for two weeks because she "wanted a break" from his calls, charging documents say. He also allegedly told police he gave the man alcohol and a sleeping pill before locking the doors so he could go out for the night when the elderly man fell asleep.

The elderly man told police that he moved to Utah from California and Pam Langi had moved with him as his caretaker, though they do not have a contractual agreement.

Police later examined the man's financial records and found he had sold a trailer in California and transferred $80,000 to his bank account on May 25. That same day, there were three cash withdrawals that totaled $25,400. Between June 9-29, over $24,000 was withdrawn from the account at Utah banks, according to charging documents.

On July 23, the elderly man allegedly tried to add Pam Langi to his account, but the bank denied the request because the man "did not have a death certificate for his wife," charging documents say. During the same visit, the man made a $7,000 withdrawal and tried to transfer the money to Pam Langi's account. However, the man's account was flagged by the bank for potential fraud because he had withdrawn over $50,000 in less than 45 days without any major purchases, charging documents say.

The elderly man told police he had paid Pam Langi $20,000 for her caregiving services. He also allegedly told police that she has his personal identification number and that he allows her to make ATM withdrawals for him, according to charging documents. He was not able to account for all the money made in withdrawals.

During an interview with police, the Langis allegedly told police they were victims of a "Bitcoin scam" and used the man's money without him knowing, charging documents say.

Charges were filed against the two in January, but court records indicate both missed initial appearance dates at Ogden's 2nd District Court.

However, court records show Pam Langi was later booked into jail and had an arrest warrant recalled on Thursday. Her next court hearing is scheduled for March 2.

As of Monday, court records do not indicate that Sooletiti Langi has been arrested by police. Court records and a search on a Utah Department of Public Safety website shows an active warrant for his arrest.

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Jacob Scholl joined KSL.com as a reporter in 2021. He covers northern Utah communities, federal courts and technology.


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