|For Immediate Release
Case # 09HF1802
October 26, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
CAREGIVER SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON FOR STEALING OVER $315,000 FROM 92-YEAR-OLD WOMAN BY STEALING DEBIT CARD
AND FORGING CHECKS
NEWPORT BEACH– A caregiver was sentenced today to five years in state prison for stealing more than $315,000 from a 92-year-old woman by stealing the victim’s debit card and forging checks from the victim’s account. Susana Duran, 38, Tijuana, Mexico, pleaded guilty to one felony count of financial elder abuse by a caregiver and a sentencing enhancement for fraud over $250,000. In addition to the five year prison sentence, Duran is ordered to pay $315,000 in restitution. The victim will receive over $50,000 immediately from $34,000 in bank account assets seized from Duran and an additional $17,000 in cash found on the defendant at the time of her arrest.
Beginning in January 2008, Duran worked as an in-home caregiver for 92-year-old Jane Doe. The defendant commuted daily from her home in Mexico to the victim’s Laguna Woods home, working shifts up to 24 hours at a time. Duran stole the victim’s bank debit card and personal identification number without Jane Doe’s knowledge, made multiple daily cash withdrawals of $500 at a time, and used the victim’s debit card to make purchases including gasoline and a computer.
Duran wrote 24 checks to herself and her husband totaling over $137,000 from the victim’s check book and forged Jane Doe’s signature without her consent. The defendant stole a total of more than $315,000 from Jane Doe.
Jane Doe discovered the theft after Duran called in sick one day and another caregiver showed the victim a bank statement, which arrived that day in the mail. Duran was arrested Oct. 6, 2009, by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) when she arrived for work at Jane Doe’s home. At the time of her arrest, Duran had $17,000 cash in her possession.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit prosecuted this case.