3 court-appointed guardians accused of embezzling over $1M from 108 victims

Molly Daly
October 21, 2019 - 5:54 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Delaware County District Attorney's Office say three former court-appointed guardians embezzled more than a million dollars from 108 victims, all over the age of 60, from six Pennsylvania counties. The suspects are accused of using a shell company and a church to launder the money.

Fifty-eight-year-old Gloria Byers of Aldan, 70-year-old Carolyn Collins and her 59-year-old husband Keith Collins of Ridley Park are charged with multiple counts including theft by deception and conspiracy. 

Delaware County District Attorney Kat Copeland says the alleged scheme came to light in 2017, when detectives met with a new guardian appointed for a 94-year-old victim after a complaint that the nursing home wasn't getting paid.

"An investigation revealed that the original court-appointed guardian was Pinnacle Guardian, whose managing partners were Keith and Carolyn Collins," she explained. 

Copeland says a financial analysis revealed 18 of the Collins' 25 wards had been victimized. 

The trail then led to Gloria Byers, owner of Global Guardian, and the sister of Carolyn Collins.

"Our investigation revealed that she opened a bank account called ICU Records and Billing, and she used that as an account basically as a shell company, to move money from ward accounts, to other shell business accounts, and for her own and her sister's and her brother-in-law's personal gain," Copeland said. 

And she says Byers and the couple, the founders and pastors of the Church of the Overcomer in Trainer, used the church to funnel the ill-gotten gains. 

"This crime is incredibly egregious because they were appointed to represent people who can't represent themselves, and it was their responsibility to do right by them, and instead, they did nothing but wrong," Copeland added.