Fraud Scheme Turns Deadly: 96-Year-Old Woman Murdered in Santa Barbara County, Multiple Arrests Made

Santa Barbara County, California saw a shocking turn of events as a fraud scheme unfolded into a tragic murder case involving the death of a 96-year-old woman. Law enforcement officials made multiple arrests in connection with the murder of Violet Evelyn Alberts, who was found dead in her home in Montecito. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Pauline Macareno, Harry Basmadjian, Henry Rostomyan, and Ricardo MartinDelCampo were all taken into custody in relation to the crime.

According to reports, Alberts’ death was part of a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by a woman aiming to target her for financial crimes. Authorities discovered that Macareno posed as a real estate agent, using fraudulent documents to gain access to Alberts’ property and assets. Subsequently, Macareno enlisted the help of Basmadjian, Rostomyan, and MartinDelCampo to carry out the murder.

Further investigations revealed that Macareno had been previously arrested in June 2022 on suspicion of elder abuse and fraud. She was later sentenced to six years in state prison for her involvement in the fraudulent activities surrounding Alberts’ case. The ongoing case may lead to additional charges against Macareno in the future.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown commended the collaborative efforts of various agencies involved in solving the case, highlighting the relentless work of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office detectives. Brown expressed gratitude towards allied agencies such as the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Marshals Service for their contributions to the investigation’s success.

The tragic murder of Violet Evelyn Alberts sheds light on the disturbing depths of criminal activity that can occur, even in seemingly peaceful communities. As the legal proceedings continue, justice must be sought for Alberts and her loved ones, while the perpetrators of this heinous crime are held accountable for their actions.