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A likeable, salty, 84-year-old fraud victim: Meet Evelyn Zucker

Dan Morse

What to make of Evelyn Zucker?

The 84-year-old fraud victim's violator, ex-con Roger Greenberg, was found guilty of theft, embezzlement, financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and neglect in a trial in Montgomery County on Monday.

None of the jurors would talk to me after issuing their verdict, but I can share my own observations from the trial and conversations with her and others.

Clearly Eveyln's memory isn't what it once was. In conversation she can contradict points she made five minutes earlier. This was clear when she testified in the trial.

But she put up with three of my visits and endless questions in her nursing home. She invited me to stay for dinner. She offered stock-picking advice, which is valuable given the nest egg she built for herself. (Oil companies are good, department stores and Internet firms not so much.) She is generous, and speaks in a blue streak that puts visitors at ease.

About Roger Greenberg's marriage to her on the front seat of his car, which prosecutor said was all part of his fraud scheme, Zucker told me:

I never remarried until this Roger crap came up. I never bothered with anyone. I never fooled around. I'm an honest, decent woman. I just want to let you know that.

Because Zucker is under the guardianship of the county, an attorney has been assigned to manage her finances. She doesn't like this, and telephones the attorney -- Robert McCarthy -- on a regular basis to tell him so.

But McCarthy says the following about Zucker, which I think sums things up well:

Evelyn Zucker is full of vinegar. She's feisty ... You deal with so many other people who are these whiny people or people who are sitting around contemplating their belly button. She’s not. She still has a lot fight in her.
Unfortunately, her mental capacity is so diminished that it's kind of misdirected occasionally. But there’s a real person there. She must have been hell on wheels in her day. I mean, she must have been someone to confront. You can just see that

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  March 2, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Montgomery , Updates  
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