|For Immediate Release
Case # 11HF0325
February 22, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
HUSBAND OF CARETAKER CHARGED AS
CO-DEFENDANT IN WIFE’S CASE
* Wife was previously charged with stealing money from elderly victims for shopping, travel, and a “dog whisperer”
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) is seeking the public’s help in identifying potential additional victims after filing charges today against the husband of a caretaker accused of stealing money from elderly victims for personal purchases. Leno Cassini, 56, Laguna Niguel, is charged with two felony counts each of accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property and one felony count of second degree burglary. He was arrested Feb. 17, 2011, at the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office, where he works as an administrative assistant. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison.
The OCDA added additional charges against Leno Cassini’s wife, Norma Ruth Casini, 51, Laguna Niguel, after new victims came forward as a result of seeing her arrest in the media. Norma Casini is charged with 34 felony counts of fraudulently using an access card, 24 felony counts of forgery, two felony counts of caretaker theft from an elder, one felony count of residential burglary of an occupied home, and sentencing enhancements for loss over $100,000, property loss over $200,000, white collar crime over $500,000, and having a non-accomplice present. If convicted of all counts, Casini faces a maximum sentence of 49 years and eight months in state prison.
Both defendants are in custody on $610,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. They are scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing March 15, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
Charges against Ruth 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 is accused of being entrusted to care for Nancy W. from November 2006 to March 2009. Without the knowledge or permission of the victim, Norma Casini is accused of stealing approximately $610,000 from Nancy W.’s bank accounts and credit cards for personal use. Norma 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 Sheriff’s Department investigated the case and arrested Casini Feb. 2, 2011. As a result of the media coverage on Norma Casini’s case, additional victims came forward, which led to the arrest of Leno Casini.