Questions raised over neglected woman Ann Marie Smith's missing inheritance

Investigators are inspecting suspicious transactions related to the large inheritance left to South Australian neglect victim Ann Marie Smith.

Ann Marie Smith, 54, who died from serious illnesses developed while in full-time care.

Ann Marie Smith, 54, who died from serious illnesses developed while in full-time care. Source: South Australia Police

Irregular spending of about $70,000 from a large inheritance left to South Australian neglect victim Ann Marie Smith has sparked further investigations.

Major Crime detectives inspecting Ms Smith's finances to assess how she spent her money have found a number of irregularities.

An inheritance left to Ms Smith by her parents, who died in 2009, has eroded over time, police say.

"A concern has been identified in respect to two loans from small lending companies were taken out in Annie's name over the past six years," polcie said in a statement on Saturday.

"(They) were supposedly obtained for the purpose of travel and to buy a new car totalling $70,000. Those funds were not used for either of those purposes."

Major Crime officer Senior Sergeant Phil Neagle said because of Ms Smith's physical disability, it was "most unlikely" she would have obtained the loans without assistance from another person.

"They were significant loans. We know she did not travel or buy a new car after they were taken out, but the money is now gone,'' he said.

Some funds would have been spent on day-to-day expenses, but police say the total amount was disproportionate with Ms Smith's lifestyle and larger sums could not be accounted for.

"Ann may well have spent some of the money herself, but we are now trying to ascertain how much and if any has been removed unlawfully from her account and where it went," Sen Sgt Neagle said.


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Published 20 June 2020 at 9:33pm, updated 20 June 2020 at 9:38pm