A woman accused of conning a Fayetteville man out of money by pretending to be country music star Alison Krauss pleaded guilty to theft by deception in Washington County Circuit Court on Thursday (Jan. 16).
Peggy Sue Evers received eight years probation and was ordered to pay nearly $73,000 in restitution to the elderly victim. She also has signed the deed to his house back over to him.
Appearing before Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay, the woman also was ordered to remain on supervised probation while still in Arkansas and when she returns to her home in Albuquerque, N.M. Probation duties will transfer to authorities in New Mexico when she returns there, officials said.
Police say Evers convinced a 75-year-old man she was Krauss and got him to sign his $245,000 home over to her in 2013. His bank account also fell by $40,000, according to an arrest warrant affidavit in Washington County Circuit Court.
Fayetteville police began investigating Evers in April 2013 when First Security Bank officials contacted investigators, concerned because their elderly customer Don Fulton withdrew several thousand dollars within a few months, the affidavit states. Fulton’s son told a detective his father had met a woman online who the father believed was Krauss. Fulton had recently married Evers, and the son thought she might be taking financial advantage of him, according to the affidavit.
Fulton later told police he believed Evers was Krauss and that she had changed her name to escape the paparazzi. He also said he signed his home over to Evers so that she could put it in Fulton’s son’s name.
Investigators also found out that Evers had changed Fulton’s will to give her his money in the event of his death, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Evers gained control of Fulton’s home by alleging meritless battery accusations against Fulton, police said.
Evers was released from jail on bond, but then was arrested again on Oct. 8, 2013, when she showed up for a scheduled appearance at Washington County Circuit Court.
She had been set to appear for a pre-trial hearing on Oct. 8 but had been a fugitive from the law since September, when she skipped out on a scheduled mental evaluation, officials said.