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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Woman Charged with Commercial Burglary, Fraud & White Collar Crime Sentencing Enhancement

Pictured Above: Anastasia Darlena Mendezkestler. Source: OC Register.

Anastasia Darlena Mendezkestler, pictured above, was arrested on Friday and charged with two felony counts of accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property, second-degree commercial burglary, fraudulently using an access card and sentencing enhancements for loss over $100,000, property loss over $200,000 and white collar crime over $500,000. She was charged as a co-defendant in her parents' fraud case.

Her mother, Norma Casini, was a caretaker for the elderly. Prosecutors allege that Ms. Casini stole $610,000 from her elderly clients and then used the stolen cash and credit cards to pay for dog care, laser eye treatment, vacations and entertainment. Prosecutors also allege that Casini would give the stolen money and credit cards to her husband, Leno Casini, and her daughter Anastasia, to use. If Anastasia and Leno are convicted of these felony counts, they could face up to 12 years in prison. If Norma is found guilty of the 60 counts she is charged with, she could face 49 years in prison.

Second-degree burglary, often called “commercial” burglary, generally occurs in a business, not in a home. If more than $400 is stolen, it is considered a felony offense. Here, Anastasia, Norma and Leno all stole well over $400, so they have all been charged with felony second degree commercial burglary, among other charges.

Fraud is the intentional deception or misrepresentation of the truth with the intent to deprive another person of something that belongs to him or to cause him injury in some other way. Credit card fraud, generally involves the illegal counterfeiting of credit cards and/or the illegal use of lost or stolen credit cards.  Here, Norma would steal the credit cards and then give them to her family members who would misrepresent the truth by using them as if they were their own credit cards.

These charges are considered white collar crimes which are defined as those illegal acts which are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and which are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence. Even though there is no violence, these crimes are very serious since they are economic crimes and if you are charged with them, you can face serious prison time.

Please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are charged with any white collar crimes, commercial burglary or fraud because that experienced attorney may be able to reduce you charges or your sentence.
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