NEW HAVEN, Conn. (KTVI/WTNH) – A 63-year-old Connecticut woman allegedly convinced her husband he had Alzheimer’s as part of a decadeslong scheme to steal his money.
For about 20 years, New Haven police said Donna Marino stole approximately $600,000 from her 73-year-old husband, cashing in on his pension checks, workers’ compensation payments, and Social Security income. She would then deposit the funds in a secret bank account without his knowledge, according to WTNH.
Police allege Marino forged her husband’s signature on legal documents and checks before depositing the funds into a secret bank account. To cover her tracks, Marino allegedly told police she had convinced her husband that he had Alzheimer’s disease.
“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,” Capt. Joseph M. Murgo said, according to Patch.
The investigation also revealed that Marino had a friend notarize a legal document that granted her power of attorney for her husband, Murgo said.
Marino’s husband and his adult daughter first went to the New Haven Police Department in March 2019 to report that Marino had been stealing his money since 1999.
When police interviewed the husband, he said that Marino had always controlled the household finances. His daughter told police she discovered the alleged theft “when she found financial paperwork laying around” their residence, according to an affidavit obtained by the New Haven Register.
His daughter later contacted police and said her father no longer wanted to pursue charges for undisclosed reasons. After he filed for divorce in January 2020, his daughter reached back out to the department to reopen the investigation.
Police arrested Marino after she turned herself in last Wednesday on charges of first-degree larceny and third-degree forgery.
Marino is also accused of pawning some of her husband’s belongings, including jewelry and rare coins, without his consent. She allegedly told police that she used the funds to help her family members with rent, groceries, and car payments.
Marino was arraigned last Thursday and released on a promise to appear for her next court date on Nov. 29, the New Haven Register reported.