|For Immediate Release
Case # 11HF0325
May 5, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
CARETAKER SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS IN PRISON FOR STEALING OVER $642,000 FROM ELDERLY VICTIMS AND SPENDING MONEY ON PERSONAL EXPENSES INCLUDING SHOPPING, TRAVEL, AND A “DOG WHISPERER”
* Husband and daughter were also convicted and sentenced today in this case
NEWPORT BEACH – A caretaker was sentenced today to 13 years in state prison for stealing over $642,000 from multiple elderly victims, including taking over $610,000 from an 85-year-old woman to spend on shopping, travel, and a “dog whisperer.” Norma Ruth Casini, 51, Laguna Niguel, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of caretaker theft from an elder and one felony count of residential burglary of an occupied home with sentencing enhancements for loss over $100,000, property loss over $200,000, white collar crime over $500,000, and having a non-accomplice present. In addition to her 13-year prison sentence, Norma Casini has been ordered to pay $642,000 in restitution and over $1.2 million in fines.
Leno Casini, 57, Laguna Niguel, Norma Casini’s husband, pleaded guilty today to one felony counts each of accessory after the fact, receiving stolen property, and second degree burglary. He was sentenced to one year in jail and three years of formal probation.
Anastasia Darlena Mendezkestler, 23, Laguna Niguel, daughter of Norma and Leno Casini, pleaded guilty today to one felony count of receiving stolen property. She was sentenced to 93 days in jail, for which she received credit for time served, and three years of formal probation.
Crimes by Norma Casini
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.
Norma Casini was employed by LivHOME and was entrusted to care for Nancy W. from November 2006 to March 2009. Without the knowledge or permission of the victim, Norma Casini stole approximately $610,000 from Nancy W.’s bank accounts and credit cards for personal use. Norma Casini used 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.
As a result of the prosecution and media coverage regarding Casini’s crimes against Nancy W., law enforcement learned of additional victims. Norma Casini was also employed to care for 93-year-old Peggy R., who suffered from Alzheimer’s, by the victim’s two sons. Between June 2010 and November 2010, Norma Casini stole Peggy R.’s credit card and took out another credit card in Peggy R.’s name without the knowledge or permission of the victim to make personal purchases.