A Vermont parolee faces arraignment in Santa Ana Thursday morning for allegedly stealing more than $280,000 from a deaf, blind and demented 98-year-old widow and using the money to buy such expensive items as two pre-owned cars, a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring for his girlfriend, a classic record collection and a sex swing.
John Thomas Windsor, 41, of Costa Mesa, could get up to 11 years and eight months in state prison if convicted of the counts filed against him.
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Windsor's mother was the live-in caretaker for the widow, who was confined to her Newport Beach home and has since passed away. Windsor, who was on parole in the state of Vermont for fraud and domestic violence, moved into the widow's residence without her knowledge in 2007, Newport Beach police and Orange County prosecutors allege.
He is accused of depleting the woman's bank account by fraudulently using her credit cards. Windsor is also alleged to have tricked the woman, identified only as Edna M., to sign over power of attorney to him, something the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) contends she "did not have the capacity to sign or understand what she was doing."
The defendant then took loans out against the home, which had been paid off 50 years earlier, the OCDA further alleges. The full statement on the arraignment follows:
April 13, 2011
VERMONT PAROLEE TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING OVER $280,000 FROM BLIND, DEAF 98-YEAR-OLD WIDOW SUFFERING FROM DEMENTIA TO BUY TIFFANY'S RING AND SEX SWING
SANTA ANA - A parolee from Vermont will be arraigned tomorrow for stealing over $280,000 from a 98-year-old widow. John Thomas Windsor, 41, Costa Mesa, is charged with one felony count each of first degree residential burglary, caretaker theft from an elder, fraudulently using an access card, and three felony counts of forgery. He also faces sentencing enhancements and allegations for a non-accomplice present during a residential burglary, causing over $100,000 in loss, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years and eight months in state prison. Windsor was arrested by the Newport Beach Police Department today, April 13, 2011, and the People will be requesting he be held on $280,000 bail. Windsor must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Thursday, April 14, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Windsor's mother was an independently-hired live-in caretaker for 98-year-old widow Edna M., who was blind, deaf, suffered from dementia, and was confined to her Newport Beach home. In 2007, Windsor is accused of moving into the victim's home without her knowledge. Windsor was on parole in the State of Vermont at the time for domestic violence and fraud.
Between August 2007 and December 2008, Windsor is accused stealing over $280,000 from Edna M. by depleting her bank accounts and making purchases on her credit card. He is accused of spending the victim's money without her knowledge or consent to buy expensive personal items including but not limited to two pre-owned cars, a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring for his girlfriend, a classic record collection, and a sex swing.
Windsor is accused of having Edna M. sign over her power of attorney to him, which medical experts later determined the victim did not have the capacity to sign or understand what she was doing.
The defendant is accused of attempting to change the trust on the victim's home and take out a loan against the house, which had been paid-off 50 years earlier. The bank became suspicious of the attempted transaction and notified Adult Protective Services. Edna M. died in May 2009 at the age of 99 due to respiratory failure, pneumonia, and senile dementia.
The Public Guardian and NBPD investigated this case. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Eric Akerlind at (714) 347-8691.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.