$280K Stolen From Blind, Deaf Widow Used To Buy Engagement Ring

SANTA ANA (CBS) — A Costa Mesa man has been charged with stealing more than $280,000 from a blind and deaf widow in her late 90s and using the money to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring.

John Thomas Windsor, 41, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging him with one count each of first-degree residential burglary, caretaker theft from an elder and fraudulently using a credit card and three counts of forgery – all felonies, Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche said.

KNX 1070’s Melinda Lee reports.

Windsor was arrested Wednesday morning by Newport Beach police and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Windsor’s mother was hired to care for the widow, who also suffered from dementia and was confined to her Newport Beach home, Labreche said. Windsor, who was on parole at the time for domestic violence and fraud in Vermont, moved into the widow’s home in 2007 without her knowledge.

Windsor stole about $280,000 from the widow’s bank accounts and through use of her credit card, Labreche said, buying two used cars, an engagement ring from Tiffany & Co., a classic record collection and a “sex swing,” among other things.

Windsor is also accused of tricking the widow into signing over power of attorney to him, which medical experts have concluded she could not have been mentally competent to do, and attempting to take out a loan on her house, which had been fully paid off for 50 years, Labreche said. Bank officials grew suspicious and alerted Adult Protective Services officials.

The widow died in May 2009 of respiratory failure, pneumonia and dementia at the age of 99, Labreche said.

Windsor faces up to 11 years and eight months in prison if convicted.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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