The Times' Aug. 3 cover story about the conning of a man with dementia by a woman who posed as a widow and was later convicted of mail fraud, has an update. U.S. attorneys have asked a federal court in Seattle to issue a restraining order to freeze the assets of Mark and Rosemary Lumpkin of Ratio, Ark., relatives of Shea Saenger, "to prohibit transfer or disposal of the assets the Lumpkins purchased using the approximately $1,121,000 of proceeds from [Shea] Saenger's mail fraud scheme." Norman Butler of Ellensburg, Wash., was the victim of Saenger's scam.
Among the properties the federal filing lists as being "potentially subject to forfeiture" are: three Edward Jones Securities accounts, five Southern Bancorp checking and saving accounts, and 14 vehicles and pieces of farm equipment, including two tractors, valued at $325,000 and a $137,000 combine. An affidavit by a postal inspector who investigated the Saenger case listed more than a dozen businesses in Eastern Arkansas where the Lumpkins reportedly invested or spent money.
Doug Butler, son of the man Saenger has admitted defrauding, said the filing was "a huge step" for his family. "Of all the different branches of [Saenger's] family, the Lumpkins received the most money and offer the best chance of any really significant recovery."