By Jim Shilander
A pair of San Clemente residents will face trial on allegations of stealing $350,000 from the elderly mother of one of the defendants.
Peter Garcia, 70, and Virginia Kay Furr-Garcia, 50, each face a felony count of grand theft, conspiracy to defraud another of property, conspiracy to commit forgery and theft from an elder. Due to the amount of money allegedly stolen, sentencing enhancements for property loss over $200,000 and aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, were also potentially in place, according to a release from the Orange County District Attorney’s office. If convicted on all counts, both could face up to six years in prison. Their trial begins Monday.
The two defendants, who were married at the time of the alleged thefts (between January 1, 2009 and September 27, 2010), are alleged to have conspired to close a number of annuity funds belonging to Garcia’s mother, then 89 years old, without her consent. The couple allegedly closed the accounts and moved them into a joint account Garcia held with his mother. Garcia then allegedly moved the funds into a joint account with his then-wife, and used them for personal expenses.
Garcia’s mother discovered the theft when she was unable to pay her bills at the assisted living facility she was living in. She reported the theft in March of 2011. The couple was arrested in August 2012, following a sheriff’s department investigation.