Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 5:08 am | Fair 55º


Local News

Woman Faces Up to 28 Years in Prison for Scamming Elderly Relative

Allyson Maura Cowell Click to view larger
Allyson Maura Cowell

A 54-year-old woman faces up to 28 years in prison after being convicted of stealing $648,000 from an elderly relative.

A jury in Santa Barbara Superior Court in Santa Maria found Allyson Maura Cowell guilty of 52 felony charges, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

They include 25 counts of forgery, 24 counts of money laundering, and one count of grand theft, plus special allegations that the financial elder abuse exceeded $200,000, and that the crimes resulted in a loss of more than $500,000 by the victim.

“The evidence in this case established that the defendant had stolen, over the course of nine months, $648,000 from a relative by forging the relative's name on checks connected to an investment account, and on paperwork that allowed the defendant to sell back to the Santa Barbara Cemetery a family burial plot for $11,815,” according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Sentencing has been set for April 14 before Judge Pauline Maxwell.

"Financial crime victims are always extremely disturbed by the actions of a thief who deprives them of their hard earned resources,  but financial elder abuse by a family member is often devastating,” District Attorney Joyce Dudley said in a statement.

“The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting our most vulnerable of victims, and therefore will continue to vigorously prosecute those who victimize our elderly."

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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