Editor: A Tulare County man has been accused of elder abuse and embezzlement of his elderly relatives – Julia and Harry Tuck – who lived in Ocean Beach at 4485 Pescadero Avenue. The article below is somewhat confusing as to whether the Tucks – who have since passed away – are parents or aunt and uncle of the accused.
By Luis Hernandez / Visalia Times-Delta / November 8, 2011
A Tulare man is facing felony charges of grand theft, embezzlement and elder abuse, making him subject to a possible eight-year prison sentence.
Keith Little, 47, entered a not guilty plea to the charges in Tulare County Superior Court in June and is due back in court Dec. 7 for a preliminary hearing. He was released on $100,000 bail. Little, a captain in the Tulare fire department, declined to comment on the advice of his attorney. Albert Gordon, the public defender assigned to represent Little, did not return calls seeking comment.
According to a felony complaint, between the dates Oct. 14, 2004 and June 7, 2010, Little is accused of:
- Embezzling the proceeds from the sale of a house at 4485 Pescadero Ave. in San Diego’s Ocean Beach area. According to San Diego real estate records, the three-bedroom home sold for $709,500 in November 2007.
- Stealing in excess of $150,000 from a couple identified in court documents only as H.T and J.T., whom Tulare police identified as Little’s uncle and aunt. San Diego real estate records connect the Pescadero Avenue house to Harry and Julia Tuck. Records say Harry Tuck died at age 86 on Oct. 14, 2004. An obituary in the San Diego Union-Tribune, printed at the time of his death, said he was survived by two sons, Keith and Kevin Little of Tulare.
In a separate count, according to the complaint, Little is accused of committing elder abuse against Julia Tuck, whom authorities described as a dependent adult. According to Social Security records, Julia Tuck died June 7, 2010.
Tulare County Deputy District Attorney Tim Ward said he couldn’t provide further details in the court case.
“It’s not appropriate to discuss the facts of a case,” he said. “There’s a pending investigation.”
According to police, detectives began investigating the allegations in September 2009. Police said the initial allegations state Little failed to pay for care facilities for Julia Tuck.
During the investigation, police said they did an extensive review of financial records before turning the case over to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office for review. In May, an arrest warrant was issued. Little was taken into custody and released after posting bail.
Little is a veteran of more than 20 years with Tulare Fire. He was first hired in 1989 as a firefighter and then promoted to engineer in 1997. He was then named captain in June 2004.