|For Immediate Release
Case # 11HF0325
February 3, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
CARETAKER CHARGED WITH STEALING $610,000 FROM 85-YEAR-OLD VICTIM AND SPENDING MONEY ON PERSONAL EXPENSES INCLUDING SHOPPING, TRAVEL, AND A “DOG WHISPERER”
SANTA ANA – An in-home caretaker will be arraigned tomorrow on charges of stealing approximately $610,000 from an 85-year-old woman and using the stolen money for personal purchases. Norma Ruth Casini, 51, Laguna Niguel, is charged with 34 felony counts of fraudulently using an access card, 24 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of caretaker theft from an elder, and sentencing enhancements for loss over $100,000, property loss over $200,000, and white collar crime over $500,000. If convicted of all counts, Casini faces a maximum sentence of 49 years and eight months in state prison. The defendant is in custody on $610,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. She is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Victim Nancy W., 85, has required 24-hour in-home care in her Laguna Woods home since 2002. The victim has no family support and hired a caregiver service, LivHOME, to provide for her needs and basic care. LivHOME caregivers are paid by the company and are not to accept money directly from their client.
Casini was employed by LivHOME and is accused of being entrusted to care for Nancy W. from November 2006 to March 2009. Without the knowledge or permission of the victim, Casini is accused of stealing approximately $610,000 from Nancy W.’s bank accounts and credit cards for personal use. Casini is accused of using the stolen money to pay for her home lease, dog day care and a “dog whisperer,” orthodontic work, laser eye treatment, shopping, concerts, travel, and other personal items.
In March 2009, Casini was terminated by LivHOME after the company determined that the defendant was not in Nancy W.’s home during her shift. A subsequent review of the victim’s bank accounts revealed that her savings had been depleted from over $700,000 in June 2008 to less than $5,000 in April 2009.
The Orange County Public Guardian filed a conservator action to protect the victim and take control of her care. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated the case and arrested Casini yesterday, Feb. 2, 2011.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.