Man who swindled deaf and blind widow gets seven-year prison term

John Thomas Windsor was sentenced for stealing more than $280,000 from a widow in Orange County.
(Orange County district attorney’s office)

A Vermont parolee was sentenced to state prison Monday for stealing more than $280,000 from a widow with dementia to buy a classic record collection, a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring and a “sex swing.”

John Thomas Windsor, 44, of Costa Mesa was sentenced to seven years and four months for stealing thousands from the woman, who was also blind, deaf and confined to her home, the Orange County district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Windsor met the woman, identified as Edna M., through his mother who was her live-in caretaker at the widow’s Newport Beach home.

In 2007 Windsor, who was on parole in Vermont for domestic violence and violating a restraining order, moved into the woman’s home without her knowledge, authorities said.


Between August 2007 and December 2008, Windsor depleted Edna’s bank accounts and rang up charges on her credit card. He also had the woman give him power of attorney, though medical experts later determined that she didn’t have the mental capacity to make such a decision.

Much of the money Windsor stole went toward a number of personal purchases, prosecutors said, including two pre-owned cars, the engagement ring and the sex toy.

When Windsor tried to change the trust on the woman’s home and take out a loan against the house, which had been paid off 50 years earlier, bank employees became suspicious. The bank notified Adult Protective Services, which ultimately led to his arrest in April 2011.

Windsor pleaded guilty to multiple felonies: residential burglary; caretaker theft from an elder; fraudulent use of an access card; and three counts of forgery. He also pleaded guilty to sentencing enhancements for causing over $100,000 in losses, aggravated white-collar crime over $100,000 and property loss over $200,000.

He was ordered to pay $296,000 in restitution and fined more than $592,000.

The victim died in May 2009 of respiratory failure, pneumonia and dementia, prosecutors said. She was 99.