Lawyer tries to stop new "sweetheart swindler" trial |

Lawyer tries to stop new "sweetheart swindler" trial

Christina Proctor

Margaret “Venus” Loeo’s defense attorneys claim their client is not competent to face charges she bilked an elderly Sacramento man.

Loeo, dubbed the “sweetheart swindler” by police investigators, was convicted in 1998 of defrauding 83-year-old Stateline resident Anthony Brusca out of $250,000.

Two months after her release from the Douglas County Jail, Loeo and her mother Anna Loeo were arrested in the Los Angeles area on a Sacramento County warrant. This time she was accused of swindling 84-year-old Charles Hunt out of $40,000. Investigators said the two women left Hunt bankrupt with barely enough to live on.

Sacramento Deputy District Attorney Richard Clark said the court will hear from doctors on Loeo’s competency this week. Anna’s trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 21. Both women are charged with theft by false pretenses.

Margaret Loeo’s Nevada prison sentence of one to six years was suspended. She was placed on five years probation and ordered to pay Brusca $500 a month. Shortly after her release, Brusca said he received one check for $60, and then nothing else until the end of August when he received a check for $180. Loeo did find $200,000 to post bail in Sacramento County. Anna posted $50,000 in bail. Margaret Loeo’s accomplices in Brusca’s case, Diane and Steve Yonko, have paid their monthly restitution of $1,000 without fail, Brusca said.

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