A 59-year-old Orange County woman was convicted Tuesday in a scheme to defraud a religious order of Catholic nuns out of $285,000 that had been set aside for the care of elderly sisters, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Jurors in Santa Ana found Linda Rose Gagnon, also known as Linda Gualtieri-Gagnon, guilty on three counts of wire fraud in connection with the theft from the U.S. Province of the Religious of Jesus and Mary (“RJM”), an order devoted to educational and charitable work, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Keenan.
Gagnon represented herself as an expert in handling short sale and foreclosure transactions and offered to assist RJM in buying a small home in San Diego for use by retired and infirm sisters, prosecutors said.
But instead of buying a retirement home, prosecutors said Gagnon used the funds to pay for personal travel, lingerie, manicures, restaurants, lease payments for an Audi TT sports car, and valet pet-sitting services for her dog.
Gagnon faces up to 60 years in prison when she is sentenced on Feb 24.