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Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 12:46 pm | Fair 68º


Physical Therapist Headed to Jail for Bilking Elderly Couple

A Santa Barbara physical therapist faces six months in Santa Barbara County Jail after pleading guilty to felony charges of bilking an elderly local couple by overcharging them for in-home Pilates classes.

Yvonne Alish Castillo, 34 , also will be required to pay $104,000 in restitution to the couple, who were referred to in court as John and Jane Doe, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Castillo, a licensed physical therapist, began providing in-home Pilates classes for the couple in February of 2013.

“In June of 2016, an employee of the victims became suspicious of the amounts that Castillo was charging them,” according to a District Attorney’s Office press release. “An attorney for the victims reviewed bank records and discovered that Castillo had charged them almost $200,000.00 for Pilates classes in a little over three years.

“The investigation revealed that Castillo never provided any invoices and always made sure that no one was present in the room when she received her checks from Mr. Doe who was 87 years old at the time.”

In 2014 alone, Castillo was paid $62,100 by the couple, and at one point was collecting more than $7,500 per month, the release said.

“When interviewed by law enforcement, Castillo admitted to ‘taking advantage’ of the victims,” according to the release.

The victims told the county Probation Department that they felt violated by Castillo, and that she “masqueraded as one person and behaved like a criminal. The only difference was her costume.  She wore expensive Pilates pants instead of a ski mask.”

Castillo will return to court on April 20 for sentencing. In addition to the jail time and restitution, she will be placed on probation for four years.

“It is particularly reprehensible that the elderly victims were taken advantage of by someone that they trusted, befriended and allowed into their home,” District Attorney Dudley stated. “Criminals can be total strangers or trusted acquaintances. It is important that we do all we can to protect the vulnerable members of our community”. 

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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