Sunday, April 14, 2024

A lady in California got tricked in a fake house loan thing, and then someone tried to kill her on purpose, as per the sheriff

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Authorities have recently revealed that a 96-year-old woman in California, Violet Evelyn Alberts, who passed away almost two years ago, was the target of a complex scam involving murder-for-hire and reverse-mortgage schemes. Four individuals have been arrested in connection with this case.

Alberts was discovered dead in her Montecito home on May 27, 2022, with signs of foul play, including a shattered window. An autopsy determined that she died due to asphyxiation, leading to the classification of her death as a homicide.

The investigation unraveled a convoluted plot of financial exploitation against Alberts. The scheme started when Pauline Macareno, 48, approached the financially distressed widow, offering a reverse mortgage for her valuable home. Instead, Macareno engaged in various fraudulent activities, such as forging documents and creating fake entities, with the ultimate goal of gaining illegal control over Alberts’ property.

Further evidence revealed that Alberts became a target in a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by Macareno. The motive behind the murder, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, was Macareno’s belief that Alberts was living too long, and expediting her death would serve their interests.

Days before Alberts’ death, two men, Ricardo MartinDelCampo and Henry Rostomyan, conducted a scouting trip to her home, emphasizing the premeditated nature of the crime. Both men are currently in custody, facing charges of murder and conspiracy.

Another individual, Harry Basmadjian, was arrested in January for his involvement in the conspiracy while being held on an unrelated charge in federal custody in Los Angeles.

Macareno, the central figure in the manipulation of Alberts, was arrested in 2022 and sentenced to six years in state prison for fraud related to the case. Additional charges are pending.

Alberts, a beloved figure in the Montecito community, was described as active and warm-hearted. She fell victim to the scam due to her financial vulnerability. The ongoing investigation, aided by the identification of a suspect’s vehicle, surveillance footage, and forensic analysis, has shed light on the heinous nature of the crime.

Sheriff Brown highlighted the extreme nature of this case, emphasizing the unfortunate prevalence of financial exploitation targeting elderly victims. In 2022, the FBI reported a significant increase in complaints from adults over 60, with California having the highest number of elderly fraud victims in the country.

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