An Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) paralegal is on paid administrative leave and scheduled to be arraigned today for allegedly helping two friends illegally obtain a second mortgage on a Garden Grove senior's home and stealing thousands of dollars from her bank account.
Christina Espinosa Aldana, 32, of Garden Grove, is accused of helping Anaheim husband and wife Willmar Lainez, a 44-year-old due in court on Wednesday, and Thalia Lugo-Lainez, a 37-year-old fugitive and the granddaughter of the victim, who died last year.
The Lainezes and their children moved in with grandmother to take care of her in exchange for free room and board, but the couple would empty Nana's bank account of $40,000 and secure a second mortgage on her home amounting to $75,000, pocketing the funds without the victim's knowledge, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Pete Pierce.
Aldana was the notary public who allegedly took the thumb print of Lugo-Lainez and falsely filled out documents for the second mortgage claiming it was the grandmother's thumb print.
The alleged fraud unraveled when the grandmother called her bank to ask why she was no longer receiving bank statements in the mail, and she was informed that "she" had chosen to receive paperless notifications. The elderly woman contacted her daughter–first, I'm imaging from my interactions with my own elderlies, to ask what "paperless" means and then to protest she'd never asked for that. Lugo-Lainez's mom would go on to turn in her own daughter in to the cops.
If convicted, the Lainezes are looking at up to 11 years and four months in prison, according to Pierce, who added Aldana is looking at as many as nine years and four months. Hope she knows a good lawyer!