A Santa Rosa woman pleaded no contest today to stealing more than $50,000 from her former mother-in-law and from another elderly woman under her care. Sarah Joanne Holm, 46, faces six months in jail and three years’ probation when she is sentenced Aug. 24, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. Both victims were Sebastopol residents who were close friends and neighbors, Ravitch said.
The offenses date back to November 2004, according to court records. Holm was charged with eight felony counts that include grand theft, theft from an elder dependant and using another person’s credit card and identification. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation when Holm’s former mother-in-law noted several unauthorized charges to her bank account that were traceable to Holm, Ravitch said. Holm used the woman’s bank account information and credit card to steal money and to apply for an American Express credit card to make purchases she did not pay for, Ravitch said.
The District Attorney’s Office investigated Holm after an elderly woman in her care died, Ravitch said. The estate trustees found more than $50,000 of estate funds were spent at the River Rock Casino in Geyserville and at other locations in the months following the woman’s death, Ravitch said. Holm’s trial was scheduled for today before Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Robert LaForge.
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