Woman Spent More Than $650,000 of Aunt's Money on Gambling, Vacations and Bills: Stamford Police

A Bethel woman is facing charges after embezzling more than $600,000 of her aunt's money and using it to pay her bills, finance vacations to France and gamble, police said, according to Stamford police.

The victim signed over power of attorney to her niece, Barbara Pyne, 62, of Bethel, so that she could use the money in the account she controlled to pay for her aunt's hospital and assisted living bills, police said.

However, Pyne misappropriated $656,406 of her aunt's money and spent it on her mortgage, credit card bills and trips to France, police said. She also lost more than $100,000 from her aunt's account after gambling it away at casinos, according to Stamford police.

Pyne reimbursed her aunt with $357,100 of the money taken when confronted about it, meaning $299,306 was the net loss, police said. She admitted to police that she stole the money and police said she showed remorse.

Stamford police arrested Pyne after she surrendered herself voluntarily to the department's financial crimes unit. They charged her with first-degree larceny and held her in custody on a $150,000 bond.

She is no longer her aunt's power of attorney.

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