Charges: Cancer-stricken grandmother delayed treatment as grandson bilked her to pay for pills, prostitutes
BURIEN–A 29-year-old self-admitted drug addict is facing charges of conning his elderly grandmother out of $334,000, and using the money to buy drugs and prostitutes, as she delayed cancer treatment in an effort — she thought — to help him.
King County prosecutors allege Derek Bischoff told his 86-year-old grandmother he needed money to pay drug debts and bribe law enforcement. He told her he worked for a DEA officer out for revenge on drug dealers, and he had to give him money or go to jail.
He is also accused of assaulting her.
Bischoff is unemployed, and was living with his grandmother. He has been addicted to pain killers for two years, prosecutors say. He takes pain killers up to five times a day, court documents state. He has another child but did little to support the toddler or the child’s mother.
Bischoff’s mother turned him into police after discovering the thefts. His grandmother has since kicked him out, and he is homeless, documents show.
Investigators say the 86-year-old woman is in sound mind but is battling cancer, has difficulty walking and is almost completely blind. She told investigators she has put off cancer surgery or buying hearing aides because she no longer has enough money. Writing to the court, prosecutors said she truly loves her grandson, and just wants to help him get better.
She has asked the court to send him to drug treatment in lieu of jail time.
A search warrant on his cell phone unveiled multiple conversations where he talks about paying for sex and escorts. In one interaction, he brags about being able to buy anything online, because he had a credit card, documents show.
The woman’s bookkeeper also reviewed her finances and found Bischoff wrote 23 checks to himself from her account, and allegedly forged her signature. Managers at her bank told investigators they had reported signs of elder abuse to authorities in the past.
Bischoff faces one charge of first degree theft and nine counts of forgery. He is behind bars in King County on $55,000 bail.