"He was interviewed by law enforcement, he sat down with our attorney and Rose [Winquist] and they've talked with him, we had him served [to force him to testify in court], he sat in court and doesn't remember any of that," said his son, Doug.
Every state has laws in place to protect people against fraud, but legal experts say enforcing them can be difficult, especially if resources are scarce. They may also be difficult to prove, especially if a person isn't viewed as "vulnerable" in the eyes of the law.
Doug Butler concedes that he didn't check up on the woman carefully enough. He said he ran her name through web sites that offer thorough background checks, which came back clean.
It was only when Winquist got involved that he learned the truth. The private investigator advises people to "follow their gut."
"You have to go through public court records, and go through civil indices, too. Search for the person and see what comes up," she said. "By looking at who these people are can turn things up that will provide the family with the ammunition you might need to either go to the courts or just run these people off."
Attorneys strongly recommend that families discuss financial matters with their elderly relatives, as difficult as those conversations may be.
"Families have to approach it in terms of, 'Let's work collaboratively, let's help each other,'" said Kapp. "It's important for the family to preemptively help plan ahead while the person has the capacity to make his or her own decisions and manage their own affairs."
The money allegedly bilked from Norman Butler, according to Winquist, was going to be used to help provide care so he could live in his own house. Now that the money's gone, he may have to go into a state-funded care facility.
Despite what happened, Norman Butler still loves his girlfriend, said his son.
"He still e-mails her on a regular basis," said Butler's son, Doug. "He tells her he loves her and misses her."