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Man charged with stealing more than $280K from elderly woman

He moved in with the woman, who had dementia, and allegedly withdrew money from her bank accounts, used her credit cards.

April 13, 2011|By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com

A Costa Mesa man is set to be arraigned Thursday on charges that he stole more than $280,000 from an elderly Newport Beach woman suffering from dementia.

Newport Beach police arrested John Thomas Windsor, 41, on Wednesday.

Authorities charged him with felony residential burglary, caretaker theft of an elder, fraudulently using an access card and three counts of forgery — all with sentencing enhancements tacked on alleging it was a white collar crime with more than $200,000 stolen.

According to police, Windsor started living with the 98-year-old woman identified as Edna M., a Newport Beach resident, in 2007 without her knowledge. Windsor's mother was a live-in caretaker for Edna, who was blind, deaf and diagnosed with dementia. When he moved in, Windsor was on parole for domestic violence and fraud in the state of Vermont.

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Between August 2007 and December 2008, Windsor made more than $280,000 worth of withdrawals from her bank accounts and purchases on her credit cards, prosecutors said. With Edna's money he bought two cars, a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring for his girlfriend, music albums and a sex swing, they said.

Windsor got Edna to sign over power of attorney to him, though medical physicians later determined she didn't have the mental capacity to do so, police said. Edna died in May 2009 at age 99.

Before her death, Bank of America had alerted adult protective services of Windsor after he came in with Edna to empty her bank accounts, authorities said.

Protective services eventually called police, who began investigating, said Sgt. Steve Burdette.

Detectives combed through years of financial records to put the case together, and on Wednesday asked Windsor to come to the Police Department for an interview. He was arrested without incident at department headquarters, Burdette said.

Windsor will be arraigned in a courtroom inside the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana. He faces up to 11 years and eight months in prison. He's being held in lieu of $280,000 bail.

According to a Newport police news release, the investigation is ongoing. Police are asking anyone with more information, or who may have been victimized, to contact Supervising Dist. Atty. Investigator Eric Akerlind at (714) 347-8691.

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