A Cedar Rapids woman has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges after stealing the identity of an elderly Central City widow.
60-year old Robin Ann Bertelli was convicted of one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in federal court in Cedar Rapids on Thursday.
In a plea agreement, Bertelli admitted that in 2013, she began a romantic relationship with a former Navy SEAl, who lived with his elderly and widowed mother in rural Central City. Bertelli soon moved in and stole mail from the widow, including mail from her financial institution.
The widow’s son who Bertelli had been dating unexpectedly died in Puerto Rico while he and Bertelli were on vacation. Just two months earlier, he had received an inheritance of about 18-thousand dollars from a relative.
Family members of the former Navy SEAL ultimately discovered that Bertelli had stolen blank checks from him and his mother – even in the months after his death – stealing a total of nearly 200-thousand dollars from their accounts.
Bertelli faces anywhere from two to 32 years in prison, with a sentencing date yet to be set. She remains free on bond.