A woman was arrested this week after she allegedly stole over half a million dollars from her husband by convincing him he had Alzheimer’s Disease.
According to Patch, 63-year-old Donna Marino was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with first-degree larceny and third-degree forgery. Police say the woman defrauded her husband out of more than $600,000 over the course of two decades, during which she allegedly forged her husband’s signature on legal documents, pension checks, monetary settlements, and social security payments. Police say she would then deposit those funds into a bank account she had kept secret from her husband.
She is also accused of pawning off the husband’s belongings—such as jewelry and rare coins—without his knowledge.
Police Capt. Joseph M. Murgo said authorities began investigating the situation in 2020, after they received a report about a “large-scale fraud” scheme. The husband told investigators his wife had controlled the family’s finances throughout their marriage and spent most of that time completely unaware she had been stealing from him since 1999.
“[Marino] fraudulently obtained power of attorney for her husband by having a friend, who is a notary public, sign the legal document when her husband was not present,” Murgo said. “She then used her Power of Attorney status to fraudulently file taxes in her husband’s name.”
Investigators say Marino managed to continue the 20-plus-year scheme by telling her husband he was suffering from mental deterioration.
“She believed that convincing him that he had Alzheimer’s disease would prevent him from going to the bank, ultimately, to discover the low balances on his accounts,” Murgo said, adding that the woman told “investigators that the mismanaged money was often used to help her other family members with things like rent, groceries and car payments, without her husband’s knowledge or consent.”
We would really like to know how, in the span of TWO decades, did this man NOT realize he didn’t have Alzheimer’s.