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Massena man charged with using uncle’s money for drinking, gambling

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MASSENA - A 31-year-old Massena man was sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility on Thursday after he was charged with stealing more than $10,000 from his uncle and using it for gambling and drinking.

Canton-based state police charged Thomas O. Murray Sr. listing an address of Bob’s Motel, Massena, with third-degree grand larceny. He was arraigned by Massena Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility on $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond, to reappear this morning in Potsdam Village Court. Judge Sharlow also signed an order of protection prohibiting Murray from having any contact with his uncle, Ray A. Murray, Colton.

Murray is accused of using a debit card and accounts at SeaComm Federal Credit Union in Potsdam to steal approximately $10,498.85 in cash from his uncle in October and November.

In a statement he signed for police, Ray Murray said the incidents occurred after he had a stroke on Sept. 28. Mr. Murray said prior to his stroke he had lived alone in Colton and took care of all his financial affairs.

“I do remember my nephew being at the hospital in Potsdam. At some point in time, I realized my nephew had my wallet. I don’t remember giving it to him, but I do remember asking him for it back, but he said he didn’t know what he did with it,” Mr. Murray said.

He told police that at some point his neighbor told him his money was gone from his checking and savings accounts and his Capital One credit card was being used.

“I did tell Tom Murray to pay my bills and take care of my dog. I did not give Tom Murray or anybody else permission to take all of my money or use my credit card,” Mr. Murray said.

He noted that prior to his sickness he had approximately $20,000 in his savings account $20,000 more in his checking account and a zero balance on his credit card.

Thomas Murray, in a statement he signed for police, said his uncle had given him power of attorney over his financial affairs.

“I did take care of some of his financial affairs, but I started using Uncle Ray’s money for drinking and gambling. I drank a lot, and I gambled a lot. The drinking and gambling got out of control, and I spent a lot of Uncle Ray’s money. I would guess it was around $10,000, but I really don’t know,” he said.

“I am very sorry for what I did to my Uncle Ray. I intend to pay Uncle Ray back every penney (sic) I took. Uncle Ray never gave me permission to spend to spend his money on drinking and gambling,” he said in his statement.

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