Deltona couple accused of stealing $180K from 87-year-old man before abandoning him, moving across country

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A Deltona couple were arrested last week after they were accused of stealing more than $180,000 from an 87-year-old man’s accounts, selling his home and abandoning him before moving across the country.

Volusia County deputies said Javier Dross, 62, and Lydia Dross, 57, were arrested Friday in Maricopa County, Arizona after being accused of exploiting Javier’s father.

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Deputies said the couple moved to Arizona and spent thousands of dollars of the 87-year-old man’s money after leaving him with a friend he’d recently met in Deltona.

Deputies said they started investigating the couple in September after the state Department of Children and Families notified detectives of the possible exploitation. Detectives said Javier Dross moved into his father’s Deltona home in 2019, then sold it in May 2020 after getting his father to sign over power of attorney.

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The man told detectives he didn’t know what he was signing, but since Javier was his son, he trusted him.

Deputies said the Drosses drafted the power of attorney documents themselves, not through an attorney, and also created a do-not-resuscitate order after the power of attorney paperwork was signed.

After the sale of the home, deputies said, Javier Dross transferred all the proceeds into Lydia Dross’ bank account, dropped off his father at his friend’s house and left for Arizona. Investigators said Javier Dross also deactivated his father’s debit card.

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Deputies said Javier Dross initially arranged to pay the friend to take care of his father but stopped sending payments at the end of May.

Investigators said that according to financial records, the Drosses took $186,400 from the man and spent it on airfare, hotels, rent, retail shopping, car insurance and meals out at restaurants, with none of the costs having any connection to the man’s care or well-being.

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Anyone who has information about possible exploitation of an elderly person in Volusia County is encouraged to call the 24/7 Florida Abuse Hotline at 800-96-ABUSE (800-962-2873, then press 2 to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult). For a caller who has hearing loss, the TTY number is 800-955-8771.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.