On March 6, 2014, the 10th District Court Grand Jury indicted Shirley Fanuiel for the first degree felony offense of Theft from an Elderly Individual.
The indictment states that from June 22, 2009 until July 18, 2013, Ms. Fanuiel acquired Wade A. Watkins’ home and annuity valued at over $100,000 and less than $200,000 without his consent.
During the time of the theft, Mr. Watkins was allegedly suffering from a diminished capacity due to his advanced age. Mr. Watkins became a ward of the Galveston County Social Services in 2011 after a Probate Court finding of incapacity. At the time the property is alleged to have been appropriated, Ms. Fanuiel, an elected La Marque ISD School Board member held power of attorney for Mr. Watkins.
Mr. Watkins was retired from over four decades of service as an executive chef at Gaido’s restaurant.
The Major Fraud Section of the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation which led to the indictment. The investigation was based on complaints by citizens and two local attorneys.