Stephen Gibbons, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Cindy Seeley Hendrickson, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2551   For release on October 27, 2004     LANDSCAPER ARRESTED FOR EMBEZZLING $2.2 MILLION FROM FIVE ELDERLY VICTIMS   On Wednesday, October 20, 2004, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Charles Melvin Turner, 43, of Saratoga on charges that he embezzled over $2.2 million from five different elderly victims. Further investigation just since his arrest has uncovered three more potential victims who may have lost an additional $1 million. Law enforcement officials fear that there may be additional victims.   According to reports, Turner has been befriending and then borrowing money from elderly victims for years. More recently, he has been using his unlicensed landscaping business, called Four Seasons, as an excuse to approach elderly homeowners and convince them to loan him money to invest in various companies he purports to operate, including Love Concierge, a dating service, and Sweet Givaways, a vending machine company.  However, the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation has revealed that instead of using the money for the stated investment purpose, Turner and his wife spent the money dining out, traveling, and living well. At least two of Turner’s victims may face foreclosure of their homes in the near future.  Turner convinced them to take out large mortgages with the promise that he would make all the  payments, but failed to keep the promise.   Anyone who thinks that they or someone they know may be a victim of Charles Turner is encouraged to contact Deputy Larry Lundin at 808-4535 or Sergeant Dalia Rodriquez at 808-4539.   # # #

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