SOUTHINGTON - A Massachusetts man, formerly of Southington, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly withdrawing about $64,000 from his elderly mother’s bank account using ATMs at the state’s two casinos.
David DeLuco, 61, has been charged with one count of first-degree larceny, after his extradition from Massachusetts - having waived his rights, agreeing to be taken to Connecticut.
According to the warrant for his arrest, DeLuco visited the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos hundreds of times between 2013 and 2016. During the visits, police allege, he withdrew $64,084 from a bank account belonging to his mother, who resides in Southington.
The warrant said DeLuco had served as the woman’s caregiver, and that he shared the role of power of attorney of his mother with his brother, who reported everything to police on Jan. 2. The brother told police his mother is now bankrupt, and that he was forced to apply for Title 19 benefits for her to get the care she needs.
DeLuco’s brother first became aware of what was going on when the Protective Services for the Elderly Unit, of the Department of Social Services, contacted him and made him aware of a neglect complaint on March 22. The agency reported that a physical therapist who was treating the elderly woman was told by DeLuco that he would be imprisoned for six months and that he had no plan for anyone to take care of his mother while he was gone, the warrant said. During this investigation, an examination of the elderly woman’s finances was conducted - which turned up the ATM withdrawals at the casinos.
When a DSS representative spoke to the elderly woman, she said she had allowed DeLuco to withdraw $100 while at the casino, according to the warrant. When told that what he took was much more than that, the woman refused to believe it, the warrant continued.
The DSS concluded its investigation on Sept. 28, but at that time the case had a marking on it indicating the complainant did not wish to pursue criminal charges. However, when DeLuco’s brother was made conservator of their mother, he decided to bring everything to local police to have a criminal investigation completed.
When police spoke to DeLuco, he told officers he had made withdrawals from his mother’s bank account because she told him it was OK and to “have fun,” according to the warrant. Police said he did not believe investigators about the total amount that was found to have been taken.
DeLuco was arraigned Thursday in Bristol Superior Court, where officials said his criminal record includes convictions of driving under the influence, assault and operating under suspension. Peter Matthews, a public defender who represented him during the arraignment, said DeLuco, an army veteran, suffers from a substance abuse issue and has been seeking treatment from a veteran’s program in Massachusetts.
DeLuco’s case has been transferred to court in New Britain - where the most serious matters in the area are prosecuted. He is being held $75,000 bond, and is scheduled to appear in court again on March 13.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.