Skip to main content

Rochester woman gets 5 years in prison for bilking $840K from neighbors

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A 61-year-old Rochester woman accused of swindling $840,000 out of an elderly couple next door has been sentenced to five years in prison, the Star Tribune reports.

“This level of coldblooded manipulation is beyond what even a normal fraudster exhibits,” U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen
told Carolyn Jean Cassar, adding, “you knew what you were doing to the victims.”

Cassar's lawyers had sought supervised release – no prison time – but prosecutors asked that Cassar be sentenced to 84 months.

Cassar was accused of using the money to go on a European vacation and hiring an architect to build an Italian villa.

Cassar was indicted in federal court in April. She was accused of making up wild lies about why she needed the money. At one point she told the couple she needed to travel to Washington to attend to the affairs of her dead daughter and to travel to Italy to take legal action against a former business agent.

KAAL reports court documents say Cassar stole the money over the course of five years, telling the couple at various times that her heat was being turned off, that her daughter died, and that her ex-husband was murdered. The couple lived frugally and planned to use the money to live independently, KAAL reported. The husband had lived through the Great Depression and the couple had said they gave Cassar money because they remembered what it was like to be in need.

Scamming the elderly is a relatively common crime, although this case was notable for the amount of money Cassar was accused of stealing.

Law enforcement officials urge families to protect their aging loved ones from con artists who prey on seniors. The FBI notes that senior citizens are attractive targets because they are more likely to have retirement money, own their home and have good credit.

Federal officials also note that con artists tend to exploit older Americans, who may be more trusting of strangers – and neighbors.

The National Council on Aging lists the top 10 scams used to target the elderly.

Met Life recently did a study on protecting seniors from financial abuse, perhaps the first large-scale analysis of the issue.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-27 at 9.15.45 PM

Buckeyes crash the glass, fend off Gophers

E.J. Liddell dominated in the paint to help No. 16 Ohio State.

nicolas blouin flickr fire hose

Fire departments decry drivers running over hoses, endangering crews

It happened in two separate Northland cities this week.

All Energy Solar - Bringing Panels to Roof

All Energy Solar reaches growth milestones with higher goals yet for 2022

Minnesota solar company continues to thrive through building a strong workforce

Royal Canadian Mounted Police maintoba crossing crop

Authorities ID family found frozen to death at MN-Canada border

They're still trying to unravel how they got there and who might have helped them.

covid

Mayo Clinic specialist: 'The omicron surge is not over'

Experts expect a rapid decline over the next month followed a period of calm.

police lights

Charges: Man in stolen Jeep leads police on 110 mph chase

He crashed into a light post near the Capitol and then fled on foot, the complaint says.

kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.

Fuzzy Gerdes Flickr Franks Diner Kenosha

WI's best 'hole-in-the-wall' diner is Guy Fieri-approved

Come for the "garbage pile," stay for ... even more breakfast food.

FKISmwPWUAYZJW6

Minnesota's pre-pro women's soccer team unveils name, logo

The new name and look was unveiled after community owners voted on a winner.

fentanyl DEA

21 people charged in connection to drug trafficking in northern MN

Police say the organization sold more than 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl in northern Minnesota.

Band Box Diner Courtney Mault Flickr

MN's 'best hole-in-the-wall diner' is, sadly, currently closed

MSN recently published its pick for best diner in each state.

Related