Rochester Woman Indicted For Defrauding Elderly Couple Out Of $840,000
MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed late yesterday charges a 61-year-old Rochester woman with defrauding an elderly couple out of more than $840,000. The indictment, which was filed on April 15, 2013, specifically charges Carolyn Jean Cassar with one count of wire fraud. The indictment was unsealed following Cassar’s initial appearance in federal court.
The indictment alleges that from May 2006 through September 2012, Cassar executed a scheme to obtain money through false and fraudulent pretenses. Cassar allegedly induced an elderly couple to provide her with money by falsely representing that she needed the funds to travel to Washington, D.C., to attend to the affairs of her recently deceased daughter. She also falsely represented that she needed money to travel to Italy to, among other things, prosecute a former business agent who had defrauded her. She told the couple she expected to receive money she inherited from her father, which the business agent had stolen, and she would then repay them the funds they loaned to her. To support her false representations, Cassar allegedly provided the victims with airline itineraries for her flights to Italy.
Instead, the indictment alleges that Cassar used the victims’ money to (1) vacation in Europe with her son and others; (2) take design professionals to Italy to study its architecture in preparation for designing a home for her; and (3) pay an architect to draw plans for a villa-style house.
If convicted, Cassar faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Rochester Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Svendsen.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.