Man gets more than 7 years for stealing from woman with dementia


A Costa Mesa man was sentenced Monday to more than seven years in prison for stealing in excess of $280,000 from an elderly woman who was blind, deaf and suffering from dementia, authorities said.

John Thomas Windsor, 44, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of first-degree residential burglary, caretaker theft from an elder and fraudulently using an access card, as well as three felony counts of forgery, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Windsor also received sentencing enhancements for causing a loss of more than $100,000 and property loss of more than $200,000, as well as committing aggravated white-collar crime of more than $100,000.


Windsor was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $900,000 in fines and restitution.

Prosecutors said that between August 2007 and December 2008, Windsor, a parolee from Vermont, stole more than $280,000 from the woman, known only as Edna M. in court records, who was confined to her Newport Beach home. He depleted her bank account and used her credit card, authorities alleged.

Using the woman’s money without her knowledge or consent, prosecutors alleged, Windsor bought items that included two cars, records, a sex swing and a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring for his girlfriend.

He also moved into Edna’s house in 2007 without her knowledge. At the time, Windsor’s mother was Edna’s live-in caretaker.

According to the district attorney, Windsor also had Edna sign over her power of attorney to him — an act medical experts said she did not have the capacity to understand. With that ability, he tried to change the woman’s trust and take out a loan against her house, which was paid off, authorities said.

Bank of America officials became suspicious and alerted adult protective services.

The woman died in May 2009 from respiratory failure, pneumonia and senile dementia, authorities said. She was 99.

Windsor was charged and arrested in April 2011.