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Tucson Caregivers Charged with Defrauding Elderly Victim

Published By
U.S. Attorney's Office
Published Date

TUCSON, Ariz. – On November 24, a federal grand jury in Tucson returned a three-count indictment against Michael Tagle Santos, 33, and Cherry Mae Santos, 28, husband and wife, of Tucson, Arizona for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.

The indictment alleges that between 2013 and March 2018, the Santoses defrauded an elderly, disabled victim by enriching themselves through the victim’s financial accounts while serving as caregivers. They are charged with fraudulently transferring funds from the victim’s account to their own accounts as salary “advances.” The Santoses are also accused of fraudulently transferring additional funds for personal use, while simultaneously paying themselves a salary out of the victim’s account.

A conviction for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.

An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The United States Secret Service and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office investigated this matter.  The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Tucson, is handling the prosecution.