Two women from Brighton have been charged with stealing massive amounts of money from their elderly neighbor who thought the cash was going to her cat. Randi Berkowitz and Patricia DiGiacomo were charged at the Suffolk Superior Court in Boston on April 17 with multiple accounts of embezzlement, larceny, perjury, as well as other offenses. The 63-year-old Berkowitz and 58-year-old DiGiacomo allegedly tricked their 74-year-old neighbor in letting them care for “Puddy Cat,” her beloved 7-year-old tabby cat. but really using her money for their benefit.
The two women accused of stealing more than $450k from the elderly lady, who also suffers from dementia. She was granted power of attorney to Berkowitz in 2012 and by the time a conservator stepped in, her savings account had been drained from $216,000 to $2.16. Yikes! The two ladies, who share a condo and collect Social Security and food stamps, allegedly purchased a 2010 Mini Cooper, and iPad, exercise equipment, meals, specialty kitchen supplies, and other items.
Apparently, the victim doesn’t know the true identities of the women who allegedly stole from her. “[The victim] knows Randi Berkowitz as Pat DiGiacomo and knows Patricia DiGiacomo as “Pat’s friend, Devon.” Officials revealed that Randi Berkowitz and Patricia DiGiacomo had opened six credit cards in the victim’s name.
Berkowitz and DiGiacomo pleaded not guilty. The court released both defendants on their own recognizance and they are due back for a hearing on May 15.
Credit: Suffolk County District Attorney photos