Elder Caregiver Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Defrauding a 92-Year-Old Homebound Victim
TUCSON, Arizona – On August 14, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Márquez sentenced Margaret Gastelum to 30 months in prison for defrauding a 92 year-old homebound- victim. The court also ordered Gastelum to pay $184,648 in restitution for the victim’s losses. Gastelum previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
Gastelum and her daughter, co-defendant Mona Lisa Rodriguez, provided home care assistance for the victim. In her plea agreement, Gastelum admitted that she and Rodriguez gained access to the victim’s banking information and fraudulently used funds from the victim’s bank accounts. Gastelum and Rodriquez further fraudulently used the victims’ credit cards and overcharged for elder care services without the victim’s knowledge.
Rodriquez also previously entered a guilty plea for her involvement in the scheme, and is scheduled for sentencing on September 24, 2019.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Tucson Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wallace Kleindienst for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona.