[UPDATED] Norma Ruth Casini, Live-in Caretaker, Accused of Stealing $610,000 From 85-Year-Old for Trips, New Teeth, Laser Eye Work, Dog Whisperer
UPDATE, FEB. 22, 5:33 P.M.: Prosecutors today charged Leno Casini in the caregiver theft case that has already led to charges against the 56-year-old Laguna Niguel resident's wife.
The husband is now charged with two felony counts each of accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property and one felony count of second degree burglary.
The administrative assistant with the Los Angeles public defender's office could get up to 12 years in state prison if convicted.
The Orange County district attorney's office also filed additional charges against Norma Ruth Casini now that new victims have come forward as a result of media coverage of the couple's arrests, which has included photos of the stolen loot. She is now 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 of more than $100,000, property loss of more than $200,000, white-collar crime of more than $500,000, and having a non-accomplice present.
If convicted of all counts, she could spend 49 years and eight months in prison.
The couple remain in custody on $610,000 bail, which they can only make if they can prove the money came from a legal and legitimate source. They are scheduled to attend a pretrial hearing in Newport Beach on March 15.
UPDATE, FEB. 18, 12:31 P.M.: Following news reports that in-home caretaker Norma Ruth Casini had been arrested for allegedly siphoning $610,000 from an 85-year-old female client--and spending the stolen loot on travel, concerts, shopping, doggie daycare, orthodontic work, laser eye treatment, home lease payments and the services of a "dog whisperer"--more victims came forward to say Casini ripped them off.
On Thursday, the 51-year-old Laguna Niguel resident's husband was arrested after he was linked to stolen engagement and wedding rings from a woman's 62-year marriage.
Orange County sheriff's deputies found the rings in a pawn shop and linked them back to Leno Casini, who was arrested at the Los Angeles Public Defender's Office in Santa Fe Springs, where he works as a department assistant, on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property.
Authorities believe there are other victims of the couple out there, and have asked anyone with information to call 866.TIP.OCSD or 866.847.6273.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 3, 1:33 P.M.: An in-home caretaker is accused of siphoning $610,000 from an 85-year-old woman over two and a half years and spending the stolen loot on travel, concerts, shopping, doggie daycare, orthodontic work, laser eye treatment, home lease payments and the services of a "dog whisperer." Norma Ruth Casini, 51, of Laguna Niguel, could get up to 49 years and eight months in state prison if convicted of all the counts against her.
These include 34 felony counts of fraudulently using an access card, 24 felony counts of forgery, and one felony count of caretaker theft from an elder.
She also faces sentencing enhancements for loss of more than $100,000, property loss of more than $200,000, and white-collar crime of more than $500,000.
According to prosecutors, Casini also ripped off her employers.
She apparently was not on the job during her paid shift. That's why she was fired by LivHOME in-home care in March 2009.
That prompted company officials to look back at the 85-year-old client's bank accounts. They discovered her savings had been depleted from $700,000 in June 2008 to less than $5,000 in April 2009 through unauthorized withdrawals and credit-card use.
The victim, who has no family to care for her, required 24-hour assistance in her Laguna Woods home beginning in 2002. Casini had performed those duties since November 2006.
She is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning. The Orange County district attorney's office statement on the Casini case follows on the next page . . .