EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – East Haven police have arrested a woman who they say convinced her husband he had Alzheimer’s Disease to steal $600,000 from him.
Police said on March 8, 2020, two complainants went to the police department to report a large-scale fraud. The victim of the fraud stated that over the course of 20 years, his wife, identified as Donna Marino, had been stealing money from him. He said it went back as far as 1999.
The victim told police that Marino controlled all of his finances and he was unaware she had been stealing from him.
Police conducted an investigation and determined that Marino would forge her husband’s signature on his pension checks, social security checks, worker’s compensation settlements, and other legal documents. She would then deposit the funds in a secret bank account without his knowledge.
The victim told police he was unaware of this until it was brought to his attention in March of 2019. The victim also told police he learned that Marino obtained Power of Attorney over him by having a friend, who is a Notary Public, sign the legal document when the victim wasn’t present.
Marino told police she was able to hide the fraudulent activity by convincing her husband he was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. She stated she believe that convincing him he had Alzheimer’s would prevent him from going to the bank and discovering the low balances.
East Haven police were also able to determine that Marino pawned some of her husband’s belongings, including jewelry and rare coins, without his knowledge or consent.
On Wednesday, Marino turned herself into police. She was charged with first-degree larceny and third-degree forgery. She was held on a $25,000 bond.