A caretaker is accused of neglecting and stealing nearly $90,000 from an elderly Union County woman over the course of four years, authorities said Thursday.
The 90-year-old victim had been living rent-free in her home on the 400 block of North Avenue in Fanwood when Castor A. Toro, 52, began opening credit cards in her name without her knowledge or consent, Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said.
Toro used the cards for personal expenses, wrote himself checks from the woman's bank account, and tricked her into writing him checks -- claiming they were for investments, Ruotolo said.
An investigation found a pattern of neglect, showing Toro took steps to isolate the woman by limiting her access to others cutting off her access to a phone and -- on at least one occasion -- locked her in her own room, Ruotolo said.
In another instance, Toro took the woman to an attorney's office under false pretenses, where he forced her to sign a will naming him as a beneficiary, Ruotolo said.
Members of the Special Prosecutions Unit and Fanwood Police Department executed a search warrant of the victim’s home Tuesday, where they seized evidence of the crimes charged.
Toro was charged the same day, and he surrendered himself to authorities that evening on charges of theft, and abandonment/neglect of an elderly person, according to the acting prosecutor.
He was lodged in the Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing in Superior Court.
The victim was safely transported to the home of a relative.
Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin, who is prosecuting the case.
Anyone who suspects that someone they know may be a victim of elder abuse is urged to contact their local police department or the New Jersey Department of Human Services Adult Protective Services.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.