Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Someone tricked a woman in California into a fake mortgage deal to steal her house, and then someone else planned to harm her for money, according to the sheriff

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Investigators found that a 96-year-old lady in California, who passed away about two years ago, was not a natural death. It was actually a planned murder linked to a scam. The aim of the scam was to get control of her house. Four people are now under arrest for their involvement in this crime.

Violet Evelyn Alberts was discovered dead in her home in Montecito on May 27, 2022. Her caretaker found her in bed with a broken window in the house. A later examination showed that she died because of lack of oxygen, and it was ruled a homicide.

Authorities stated that the plot against Alberts involved financial trickery. The scam started when a woman named Pauline Macareno, 48, convinced Alberts to get a reverse mortgage on her house. However, Macareno then engaged in various illegal activities, like forging documents and creating fake companies, with the goal of taking control of Alberts’ property. According to Sheriff Bill Brown, Macareno played a central role in this deceitful plan.

Further investigation revealed that Alberts was also the target of a murder plot. According to Brown, Macareno wanted Alberts to die sooner to accelerate her plans.

Just before Alberts was found dead, two men, Ricardo MartinDelCampo, 41, and Henry Rostomyan, 33, had visited her home. Brown stated that this discovery showed how the crime was premeditated.

MartinDelCampo was arrested on March 5, while Rostomyan was arrested earlier. They are currently in jail without bail, facing charges of murder and conspiracy. Another man, Harry Basmadjian, 58, was arrested earlier for his involvement in the plot.

Macareno was already arrested in 2022 and sentenced to six years in prison for fraud related to Alberts’ case. Brown mentioned that she might face more charges.

Alberts was a beloved member of the Montecito community known for her warmth and social nature. She had plans to bake cookies for her upcoming birthday before her untimely death.

Brown emphasized the vulnerability of elderly people to financial scams like this one. He noted that cases like these are unfortunately not uncommon, highlighting the need for protection of elderly individuals from such exploitation.

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