|For Immediate Release
Case # 07WF2296 March 21, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
MAN CONVICTED OF STEALING APPROXIMATELY $300,000 FROM ELDERLY LEISURE WORLD WOMAN
WESTMINSTER – A 55-year-old man was convicted yesterday of stealing approximately $300,000 from an elderly woman in Leisure World by befriending her to gain access to her life savings. Douglas Scott Milne, 54, Westminster, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft from an elder over 65 with sentencing enhancements for property damage over $150,000 and crime-bail-crime. A crime-bail-crime enhancement means that the defendant is accused of committing a crime while out on bail for another offense. Milne was sentenced to three years in state prison and ordered to pay $221,393 in restitution to the victim.
Between January 1, 2000 and February 22, 2007, Milne befriended an elderly woman, now 91-years-old, who was living in Seal Beach Leisure World. He manipulated her to trust him and told her she was like a mom to him. In 2002, the victim’s niece, who was the prospective executor of the victim’s will, died. Milne persuaded the victim to put him in charge of her trust and named himself as “Successor and Trustee” so that he would inherit all of her money and property if she passed away. He promised to invest the victim’s money on her behalf, opened a joint account in both of their names, and had the victim transfer her life savings into the account. Milne drained the account and stole approximately $300,000 from the victim, living on her money for years and spending it on personal items.
In 2000, Milne was prosecuted and convicted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for committing a similar crime against another elderly woman, his first known victim. While the case was pending, Milne is accused of stealing more than $80,000 from the current victim to repay the first victim.
Deputy District Attorney Debra Carrillo of the Economic Crimes Unit prosecuted this case.