A Florida woman is facing multiple charges after investigators say she reportedly swindled an 88-year old neighbor out of more than $45,000 over a period of nine months.
According to Margate Police, Wendy Cordaro, 54, befriended the elderly woman. She then persuaded the victim to give her a job as a caregiver despite not having previous experience in the industry.
From January 2020 to October 2020, police said the victim wrote checks totaling $23,745.
Cordaro also was using the victim’s debit card and while the victim repeatedly asked for it to be returned, police say withdrawals continued in excess of $14,000.
In October, the victim’s brother notified Margate Police when he learned that his sister’s bank account had been depleted. All of the money was spent in debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals, Zelle transfers and from bank checks, according to police.
Many of the ATM transactions would be conducted on the same day in amounts with subsequent withdrawals from $100 to $1,200. The checks were written in amounts between $450 and up to $3,800.
The victim told police that Cordaro had acted as her caregiver for a year and told her that the money was needed to buy groceries, pay bills and purchase other household items.
Investigators said that Cordaro knowingly defrauded the elderly woman by gaining her trust and confidence and then exploiting that relationship. The police report also states that the victim may have lacked the mental capacity to understand the full amount of money that was being taken from her bank account.
Cordaro faces three charges including Grand Theft of an Elderly Person, Exploitation of an Elderly Person and Organized Scheme to Defraud.