FROM:
Steve Gibbons, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Scott Tsui, Deputy District Attorney
Major Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2804   For Release on July 18, 2003   FOSTER MOTHER PLEADED NO CONTEST TO SEVEN FELONY GRAND THEFTS   On July 17, 2003, Madeline Ramos Constantino, aka, Madeline Jingco, 35, of San Jose, a convicted con artist who is on probation from the State of Hawaii, pleaded no contest to seven felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses in Santa Clara County. One of the counts involved defrauding a senior citizen. Constantino stole over quarter of a million dollars.   Constantino, a foster mother and a former nurse, convinced co-workers, friends, and their family members to loan her money by making false representations. She made up compelling stories about needing money to adopt a child, to start a business and to make mortgage payments. Constantino presented falsified financial documents as proof of her assets, giving false assurances to the victims that the money would be promptly repaid. Out of sympathy and desire to help, the victims loaned large amounts of money to Constantino. None of the money was repaid.   Specifically, Constantino asked two of the victims for a loan of approximately $25,000 for what she claimed to be a fee the Department of Social Services charges for adoption. The Department of Social Services, however, indicated to San Jose Police that it charges an actual fee of $100 or less for such an adoption.   Constantino also talked an 84-year-old victim into loaning her $108,000 to "start a business." The loan was never paid back as promised.   When she committed these offenses, Constantino was on probation for multiple fraud related crimes out of Hawaii. No sentencing promise was made to Constantino in the current case. The defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.  

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