To those who knew him, Rex Smith was once an outgoing, trusting person who would help anybody.
That was until the 81-year-old Oklahoma City man was victimized by a seasoned scam artist who talked him into withdrawing $20,000 from a bank in 2008 and then stole it with the help of an accomplice.
“I worked hard for that money,” Smith testified at a preliminary hearing for Willie Ray Williams in 2010.
“My wife done without stuff in order to save that money in case one of us got sick and had to have it.”
Smith died in November a broken man, his relatives said.
Rocky Smith told investigators his father didn't leave the house after the incident and mostly moped and cried.
Williams, a 73-year-old felon with a rap sheet dating to 1961, was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison after admitting he helped swindle Rex Smith out of the money, which the son said has since been repaid, according to court papers.
Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obtain money by false pretenses and obtaining money by false pretenses.
He has felony cases pending in two counties, court records show.
Prosecutors alleged Williams and another man convinced Smith to withdraw $20,000 after Williams told Smith he inherited $200,000 but kept most of the money in a bus station locker because he didn't trust banks.