An East Haven woman was arrested for being accused of stealing $600,000 from her husband and convincing him he had Alzheimer's disease, police said.
East Haven Police said 63-year-old Donna Marino faces charges of forgery and larceny in an alleged "large-scale fraud" scheme that began in 1999. Her husband told police Donna controlled all of his finances and he was not aware that she was stealing from him.
Investigators learned Donna would forge her husband's signature on his pension checks, Social Security checks, worker's compensation settlements and other legal documents before depositing the money in a secret bank account.
In March 2019, Mr. Marino found out about what his wife was doing and took some time to consider his options before filing a formal complaint, police said.
Get Connecticut local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Connecticut newsletters.
According to police, Donna allegedly obtained power of attorney for her husband by having a friend, who is a notary public, sign the legal document when her husband was not present. She then used her power of attorney status to illegally file taxes in her husband's name, authorities said.
Donna told investigators that she hid the theft for years in part by convincing her husband that he had Alzheimer's, hoping that would dissuade him from going to the bank and questioning the financial irregularities.
Police said Donna also pawned some of her husband's belongings, including jewelry and rare coins, without his knowledge or consent. She told investigators that she used the money to help her other family members with things like rent, groceries and car payments.
Donna was arraigned on Thursday and charged with first-degree larceny and third-degree forgery. She was being held in lieu of $25,000 bond.