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Updated: Wed, 02 Apr 2014 21:33:36 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Toronto police arrest 2 for elder abuse, fraud



Norma Marshall of Toronto, from April 2 report on elder abuse CBC

Norma Marshall of Toronto, from April 2 report on elder abuse CBC

A husband and wife who allegedly defrauded a 94-year-old woman of her life savings have been arrested by Toronto police.

Norma Marshall says her ordeal began almost four years ago, when she hired a housekeeper.

The housekeeper, identified by police as 32-year-old Vera Nunes of Toronto, became involved in Marshall's day-to-day activities and gained access to her banking.

One day Nunes arrived at the front door with her husband, family and all her possessions. They moved in — living in Marshall's den — while Marshall was moved into a smaller room. 

A delivery man from a local pharmacy first noticed something was wrong when he went to Marshall's apartment for her weekly delivery and someone else answered the door. 

"When I asked the gentleman he said he was the family, but I've never seen Norma's family in the last 10 years," Firoz Jogiat told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday. Marshall's only family is a nephew in Montreal. 

Jogiat said he went back the following week and insisted on seeing Marshall. 

"She didn't look at me. She was just scared, so I thought something was wrong." 

Jogiat talked to the pharmacist, Celina Chan-Ying, who called the police. 

But by that time Marshall's possessions, including her furniture and jewelry, had allegedly been sold and her life savings — $25,000, she estimates — were gone. 

She said it was a violation of her trust.

"The life savings is one thing, but what it does to you emotionally is worse," she said. "You don't need a lot of money when you get old. You do need people around you." 

Nunes and her husband, Louis Serpa Da Conciacao Santos, face multiple charges including fraud, theft and being unlawfully in a dwelling. 

Police believe there may be other victims.

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