Woman charged with exploiting elderly
Authorities arrested a North Port woman Tuesday after she allegedly stole nearly $2,000 from an elderly woman housed at an assisted living facility in Port Charlotte, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
Marissa Castranova, 24, of the 8800 block of San Pablo Ave., was charged with exploitation of the elderly, illegal use of a credit card, and grand theft in connection with the incident.
According to a report, Castranova was hired by the 70-year-old victim six weeks ago to help her clean her room at Vick Street Manor, located in the 22300 block of Vick Street, Port Charlotte.
The victim attempted to make a transaction using her Bank of America checking account Monday but found that she couldn’t make any purchases because of a lack of funds.
The report states that over $900 was withdrawn from ATMs, and purchases totaling more than $600 were made at Walmart and RaceTrac gas station. The victim also reported that $500 in cash had been stolen from her closet around the time when Castranova was originally hired to do the cleaning.
The victim had allowed Castranova to clean her room without her being present just a day before the fraudulent transactions started, the report states, so she became suspicious and contacted authorities.
Castranova showed up at the victim’s residence on Tuesday, returning her ATM card and $1,100 in cash, according to the report, but by then authorities had arrived and took her in for questioning.
Castranova said during an interview that she had been having money problems and the victim had given her permission to take the card and withdraw the funds. Castranova was arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail, where she was released on $7,500 bond.
Vick Street Manor administrator Nora Chiaravolloti said that Castranova was not an employee of the facility and was hired specifically by the victim. The victim was unavailable for comment.