King County prosecutors claim Derek Bischoff stole $334,000 from his grandmother through threats, lies and forgery. Bischoff, 29, also faces a misdemeanor assault charge related to allegations that he attacked the elderly woman.
Writing the court, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kristin Richardson said Bischoff convinced his 86-year-old grandmother that he needed the money to pay his drug debts and bribe law enforcement. Richardson also said Bischoff had assaulted his grandmother previously.
"She thought he was using the money to keep drug dealers from killing him or because the (Drug Enforcement Administration) was demanding payment, neither of which was true," Richardson said, adding that Bischoff is now homeless; he was booted from his grandmother's home after the thefts were discovered.
Addicted to prescription painkillers, Bischoff had been conning his grandmother for a year before his mother turned him in earlier in June, a King County Sheriff's Office detective said in charging papers.
Bischoff went to his grandmother with claims that he needed money to pay court debts, repay a friend he'd burglarized and keep angry dealers from killing him, the detective told the court. The detective said Bischoff then concocted a more elaborate story about a bust and a crooked DEA agent "out for revenge" because his wife left him for a drug dealer.
According to charging papers, Bischoff convinced his grandmother that he needed to pay the agent or he would be jailed.
Described as frail, blind and nearly deaf, the woman is currently battling cancer, the detective noted. She delayed needed surgery so that she could help her grandson pay his fictitious drug debts.
Still, she spoke fondly of the man now accused of abusing her trust and love.
"He was such good as a little boy," the woman told the detective. "He just needs treatment, and I have to help him."
Bischoff arrived at his grandmother's home while detectives were interviewing her on June 9. The detective said he ran Bischoff down and tackled him.
The detective and the woman's bookkeeper subsequently reviewed her finances and discovered Bischoff had received $334,000 from his grandmother in the last year. According to charging papers, they found 23 checks written to Bischoff that appeared to be forged.
Managers at the bank branches the woman frequents told investigators they were familiar with Bischoff and his grandmother, and had reported concerns of elder abuse to state authorities previously.
Writing the court, the detective said Bischoff did little to support his toddler or his child's mother. Having stolen more than $300,000 from his grandmother, the detective said, Bischoff passed on only about $2,000 to the girl's mother.
A review of Bischoff's text messages revealed he was frequenting prostitutes while soaking his grandmother, the detective continued. In one message to his daughter's mother, Bischoff described spending $320 on one liaison, the detective told the court.
Bischoff has been charged with one count of first-degree theft and nine counts of forgery. Booked into King County Jail on Tuesday, Bischoff remains jailed on $55,000 bail.