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Woman Stole $600k From Husband And Convinced Him He Had Alzheimer's To Cover It Up, Police Say

Woman Stole $600k From Husband And Convinced Him He Had Alzheimer's To Cover It Up, Police Say
East Haven Police Department

A Connecticut woman managed to steal $600,000 from her husband over nearly 20 years.

She succeeded in doing so, undetected, by convincing him he had Alzheimer's.

Donna Marino, from West Haven, Connecticut used the stolen money in the form of pension checks, workers' compensation payments and Social Security income, to help relatives.

You can watch the clip of a news report, here.

According to the arrest warrant, Marino, 63, was finally caught after leaving behind incriminating documentation.

East Haven police Capt. Joseph Murgo said Marino was arrested on Wednesday and charged with first-degree larceny and third-degree forgery.

In the warrant, Sgt. Gregory Borer said Marino's husband and his adult daughter came to the police in March 2019 and alleged Marino had been stealing from him without his knowledge since 1999.

The New Haven Register said the adult child became privy to the alleged theft "when she found financial paperwork laying around" their residence.

The daughter also claimed her stepmother forged documents to gain control of her father's finances.

Sgt.Borer said the department obtained 22 pension checks and a check for a workers' compensation settlement, totaling roughly $28,000, that had been deposited into a bank account belonging to Marino's relative.

Borer described the tactics Marino inflicted on her husband.

"Donna explained when [her husband] wanted to go inside the bank to make a transaction, she told him the last time he went inside he made a scene due to his Alzheimer's Disease, causing [him] not to go inside to avoid embarrassment."

He continued:

"Donna explained she fabricated this scenario to prevent [her husband] from going inside the bank and discovering the low balance in their accounts."

Marino had also used her power of attorney status to fraudulently file taxes in her husband's name, according to WFSB.

His daughter told the news outlet:

"She was making up stories in the morning telling him that he was running around the house chasing her. He was chasing her saying get out of my house I don't know you."

The unnamed husband believed Marino because of his family history with the disease.

Said the daughter:

"My great grandmother used to rip up mail, so she has said to my grandfather he was ripping up mail, so she went and got a PO box. So that's why he never saw a bill."

Borer added Donna expressed she was not good at managing money, and she admitted to having an impulse to make purchases if she saw available money.

"Donna stated she did not use the money to go on shopping sprees or vacations," wrote Borer, "but used it to help her family. Donna stated she was trying to make everyone 'happy,' but it was at (her husband's expense)."

Marino estimated the theft totaled roughly $100,000 during the span of 13 years, but her husband's daughter claimed to have documentation pointing to a loss of $500,000 to $600,000.

Borer clarified the charges only referenced the stolen amount of $23,813.79 between September 2017 and February 2019.

Police said the limitations were due to the statute of limitations preventing them from going back more than five years.

Borer said in the warrant:

"It should be noted the amount of money stolen from (the husband) over the years is much greater, however, for prosecutorial purposes only money stolen within the last five years was included."

"In addition, Donna admitted to stealing items of value ... and pawning them for monetary gain," wrote Borer.

"Donna confessed she did all of this without telling (her husband) and concealed her story by mentally abusing (him)."

Marino and her husband were married in 2009, but he filed for divorce in January 2020 after she was accused of defrauding him.

He initially decided against pressing charges, but his daughter reached out to police a couple months later and told them she and her father wanted to pursue criminal charges.

Marino turned herself in on October 27 and was charged with third-degree forgery and first-degree larceny—a Class B felony, which can lead to 20 years in prison and incur up to a $15,000 fine.

State records said she was released on her own recognizance with a promise to appear for trial.