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Minnesota woman convicted of stealing $150K from vulnerable relative

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The Washington County Attorney's Office says a 24-year-old woman was convicted Thursday of stealing more than $150,000 from a vulnerable relative, WCCO reports.

Elaina Lorene Casello was convicted on multiple counts of felony theft and identity theft, the station says.

KSTP identified the relative as Casello's 74-year-old grandmother.

Casello was accused of stealing the money from various bank accounts of her grandmother from February 2011 until December 2012. She reportedly didn't have the consent from the relative to access the accounts. Authorities say she used the stolen funds to buy several items and to pay her own bills.

KSTP says Casello's grandmother contacted police in December 2012, claiming her granddaughter illegally accessed her accounts. According to the station, the woman admitted to Forest Lake police that she had stolen the checkbook from her grandmother's purse.

However, Casello also claimed that her grandmother gave her permission to pay some bills, the criminal complaint said.

Washington County Attorney Peter Orput hopes the case draws attention to crimes involving vulnerable senior citizens, WCCO says.

“This conviction, we hope, should shout out a warning to those that would exploit the elderly that they will be held accountable,” Orput says.

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