WATSONVILLE - A Capitola woman is facing charges of elder abuse after police say she swindled a 78-year-old woman out of thousands of dollars.
Watsonville police arrested Morgan Rebecca Stuart, 53, Wednesday after a year-long investigation into claims that she took financial advantage of a Watsonville woman. An arrest warrant was issued and Stuart surrendered to detectives at the Santa Cruz County Jail, Lt. David McCartney of the Watsonville Police Department said.
Stuart is accused of obtaining a new car and close to $102,000 in cash from the Watsonville woman. She claims the car and the money were gifted to her to help her promote her hospitality business and to pay medical expenses. The victim and her family claim Stuart befriended and manipulated her, and later took financial advantage of their relationship.
Stuart previously spent a year in federal prison for credit card theft in the early 1990s, McCartney said. A former employer in Campbell also filed embezzlement charges against her in 1994. It was not immediately known if she was convicted of that charge.
Watsonville police ask anyone with information on the case to call 768-3358 or call the anonymous tipline at 768-3544.