Minn. woman gets 5 years for bilking elderly

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Rochester woman has been sentenced to five years in prison for swindling an elderly couple out of their life savings.

Sixty-one-year-old Carolyn Jean Cassar was sentenced Tuesday. Cassar’s sentence was 14 months longer than federal court guidelines but two years fewer than what prosecutors had sought.

U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen told Cassar, “This level of cold-blooded manipulation is beyond what even a normal fraudster exhibits.”

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

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Svendsen told the judge that Cassar’s lies “became more frequent and more outlandish” as she earned the victims’ trust.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1dUCU3x ) reports Cassar had no comment at sentencing.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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