LOGAN — A 73-year-old Providence man is being bound over for trial on charges that he allegedly stole thousands of dollars from his family during the past 10 years. Lynn J. Thurston is charged with taking the money from multiple trust accounts intended for his grandchildren.
Thurston appeared in 1st District Court for a preliminary hearing Monday afternoon. He was previously charged with 22 felony counts of unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary and one count of money laundering.
During the more than two hours of testimony, prosecutors presented boxes of printed financial documents alleging it showed Thurston illegally transferred money from his grandchildren’s savings and trust accounts. The money was then withdrawn in cash or used for personal purchases like a new truck.
Thurston’s ex-wife testified about how the suspect handled all of the finances and she didn’t know about the money transfers until divorce attorneys were going through the couple’s records. The couple cared for and adopted the grandchildren after a car crash in Sardine Canyon killed the children’s parents.
Defense attorney Shannon Demler said his client did nothing wrong. He claimed the money was withdrawn to help the couple care for the children, including purchasing a vehicle for the granddaughter and paying for orthodontia work for both children.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Jacob Gordon explained that Thurston withdrew more than $349,503 during the past 10 years. He said Demler’s claim that the money was used for the children’s living expenses was “ridiculous,” noting it didn’t come close to the amount of money taken.
Judge Brandon Maynard ruled that prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence to bind Thurston over on all 23 charges. He ordered the defendant to appear again in court Oct. 12.
Thurston pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is currently out of jail after posting $30,000 bond.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.