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Announcer accused of financial exploitation

Announcer accused of financial exploitation

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Husker football game announcer Patrick Combs has been accused of stealing the money of two elderly women after manipulating them into signing away their powers of attorney.

Combs, 49, of Gretna, was booked into the Lancaster County Jail about 6 a.m. on Thursday and was released that evening, a jail spokeswoman said.

The Lancaster County Attorney’s Office has charged Combs with five felonies: abuse of a vulnerable adult, attempted theft, two counts of theft by unlawful taking and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device.

Combs has been the public-address announcer for Husker games at Memorial Stadium for more than 10 years. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has touted him as a distinguished alumnus who graduated in 1988 after studying political science and communications.

His contract with the University of Nebraska Athletic Department expired on Aug. 1.

“Under the circumstances, we will not consider renewing the agreement until all legal issues are resolved,” Keith Mann, a spokesman for the university, said Thursday in a statement.

In an affidavit written by Lincoln Police Detective Cynthia Koenig-Warnke, Combs is accused of spending more than $360,000 belonging to an 88-year-old widow who had suffered dementia since 2012.

Combs is also accused of taking more than $20,000 from the estate of the dead brother of a 92-year-old woman. Combs did not respond to a call Thursday seeking comment.

Authorities say Combs told the women he would help them take care of their finances. Instead, authorities allege, Combs dipped into their accounts to buy four cars, make home improvements, pay off his debt and to make other personal purchases.

–World-Herald News Service

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