Minn. woman gets 5 years for bilking elderly pair

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota woman was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for swindling an elderly couple out of their life savings.

Carolyn Jean Cassar, 61, of Rochester received a sentence 14 months longer than federal court guidelines but two years fewer than what prosecutors had sought.

“This level of cold-blooded manipulation is beyond what even a normal fraudster exhibits,” U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen told Cassar, who stood silently next to her attorney. Ericksen added, “You knew what you were doing to the victims.”

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Cassar pleaded guilty in July to bilking her neighbors out of $840,000 over six years, using ever-more elaborate lies as she asked for increasing amounts of money.

From 2006 to 2012, Cassar borrowed money from the couple in 375 transactions, the Star Tribune reported.