Hearing delayed for couple accused of defrauding widow

Kimberly H. Mullen and Norman R. Mullen

ENID, Okla. — A preliminary hearing for a couple accused of taking more than $1.5 million from an Enid widow was postponed Friday.

Kimberly Mullen, 46, and Norman Mullen, 44, were set for preliminary hearing on felony charges of exploitation of an elderly person and conspiracy. Kimberly also faces charges of abuse by caretaker and false declaration of ownership in pawn.

The two appeared Friday with their attorneys before Special District Judge Brian Lovell. Assistant District Attorney Mitchell Thrower told the court he asked for the hearing to be postponed because of information he received Thursday.

Thrower told the judge he'd received information from Ben Barker, who represents Norman, that "seriously affects" the charges in the case. Thrower said he needed more time to vet the information.

Barker told the court his client had no objection to the continuance of the hearing.

Kimberly's attorney, Silas Lyman, told the judge he was "quite frankly upset" with how the postponement of the hearing occurred with little notice given to him. He said he also took issue with having no time to express his objection.

The judge reset the preliminary hearing for June 19-20.

Lyman also asked for Kimberly's bond to be reduced to $5,000. Her bond was originally $1 million and later lowered to $125,000.

"This is a property offense crime. She's entitled to a reasonable bond," Lyman said. "I believe she is entitled to a serious bond reduction."

Thrower objected to a lower bond, noting the pair stole more than $1 million from a vulnerable adult.

Lovell lowered bonds for both Mullens to $25,000, with a condition of bond being they have no contact with the victim in the case, either by themselves or by having family members contact the victim. A bond appearance date for the two was set for April 15.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Enid Police Department received a report June 28, 2018, from the daughter of an 86-year-old Enid woman stating her mother was the victim of a fraud by her housekeeper, Kimberly Mullen.

The woman told Officer Tom Rhyne she believed Kimberly set her mother up with someone via email who supposedly had a fortune in gold and currency in a storage facility, according to the affidavit. The woman said Kimberly had been helping her mother with acquiring the fortune.

The woman said one of her mother's rings had been pawned and the money was given to Kimberly, according to the affidavit.

The woman told police her mother is part of a family trust. But, when she spoke with another family member, they said her mother told them she only had $8 in her pocket and was broke, according to the affidavit. The woman said she also learned her mother's home phone had been disconnected.

An detective and a representative from Adult Protective Services went to the woman's home July 13, 2018, to speak to her about the concerns reported to police, according to the affidavit. The woman answered the door and invited them in and was told there was a report she was being taken advantage of made to police. The woman then yelled into the house for "Kim."

Kimberly introduced herself as Kimberly Van Krevelen, also known as Mullen, according to the affidavit. Detective Brad Pritchett asked her if she was the woman's housekeeper or caretaker, and Kimberly said she was just the woman's friend.

Pritchett told the woman it was reported she was supposed to be receiving a bunch of gold or treasure. Kimberly answered for the woman, stating the woman had investments in currency, according to the affidavit. Pritchett asked the woman how long this had been going on and Kimberly answered, "10 years." The woman told Pritchett her business dealing with the currency wasn't any of his business.

When Pritchett asked about the woman's jewelry being pawned, she responded similarly, stating it was no one's business, according to the affidavit. Pritchett asked Kimberly if she had pawned one of the woman's rings, and Kimberly said she did at the woman's request.

On July 13, 2018, Pritchett went to EZ Pawn, 401 S. Van Buren, and asked about the ring Kimberly pawned, according to the affidavit. The manager said when Kimberly pawned the ring she said she had owned it for two years.

On July 17, 2018, Pritchett conducted a follow-up interview with the woman at her home.

The woman said, "She has cleaned me out," according to the affidavit. Pritchett asked who "she" was and the woman said, "Kim."

The woman told Pritchett she met an international banker named Seth Reim, who lives in Texas, according to the affidavit. She said she met him on the internet and had been corresponding with him via email.

The woman said Reim had a blood disorder called pernicious anemia, which was the same blood disorder that killed her husband 30 years ago, according to the affidavit. The woman said she was sending Reim from Texas to Florida so he could receive treatments to save his life.

The woman said she and Kimberly worked closely with Reim to get his blood work. She said Kimberly emailed her Reim's blood work and she forwarded it to the facility in Florida. The vice president told the woman the blood work was fake and what she had sent appeared to be from a Google search. She said the man advised her to go to police.

The woman told Pritchett she was hesitant to call the police because the people she had been communicating by email with might be real, according to the affidavit. The woman said if she exposed them they would be killed because of the work they were doing.

Pritchett asked if Kimberly was traveling with Reim to Florida for his treatments, and the woman said Kimberly's husband, Norman, was traveling with Reim, according to the affidavit. The woman then said she did not know if Reim was a real person or a figment of Kimberly's imagination.

Pritchett asked the woman if she ever spoke with Reim on the phone, and the woman said she had not, according to the affidavit. The woman said she often emailed Reim and he used the account, christianbriar@yahoo.com. She said he would email her daily about what he was doing and what was going on.

Pritchett asked the woman where all her money had gone and asked her if she had given in to Kimberly. The woman said "yeah," according to the affidavit.

Pritchett told the woman according to pawn records, Norman had pawned some expensive pieces of jewelry over the past several months, according to the affidavit. The woman said the jewelry was hers. Pritchett asked the woman if she knew how much money Norman got for pawning the jewelry, and the woman said she was not sure because Kimberly would not always tell her.

Pritchett asked the woman where all the money from pawning her jewelry went. The woman said it was supposed to go to Reim and his associates in Texas, according to the affidavit. The woman said since there is nothing in Texas the money went into Kimberly and Norman's pockets.

The woman said she let Kimberly take all of her expensive jewelry. She said the last thing Kimberly took from her was a Rolex watch, according to the affidavit. Pritchett told the woman according to pawn records, Norman pawned the watch in Oklahoma City for $4,500. The woman said the Rolex was worth $50,000.

On July 18, 2018, Pritchett served a search warrant at the Mullen's residence at 1018 Sunset.

In the home, the detective found $90,000 in empty cash straps, appraisals for some of the jewelry that was pawned and an email from one of the fake personas the woman had been communicating with, according to the report. Pritchett also seized Kimberly’s cellphone, which had more than 15,000 text messages between her and her husband dating back to 2017.

In conversations between the two, sums of money were discussed, with corresponding bank withdrawals from the woman’s bank accounts, according to the affidavit. The Mullens often reference God when exchanging news about receiving money from the woman, or from pawning the woman’s jewelry.

Norman faces up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 on the exploitation charge and up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 on the conspiracy charge.

Because she is charged after former conviction of four felonies, Kimberly faces four years to life in prison on each of her four felony charges.

Click for the latest, full-access Enid News & Eagle headlines | Text Alerts | app downloads

Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains. He can be reached at crains@enidnews.com.

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
4