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Daughter’s Thefts From Mother Fed Gambling Habit

Sonora, CA – A Tuolumne County woman will serve nearly 14 years in prison for serial stealing from her elderly mother and additionally looting her savings.

Tuolumne County Judge Donald Segerstrom sentenced 55-year-old Cheryl Delaney-Rizzo to 13 years, eight months in state prison Tuesday for elder abuse against her 85-year-old mother, Dolores Delaney. Additionally, Rizzo’s boyfriend, 59-year-old David Garrett, was sentenced to prison for four years, four months for his involvement in the thefts, which included numerous cash thefts ranging anywhere from $40,000 to $110,000, as well as a valuable ring, according to Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter, who tried the case.

Hovatter, who shares that Rizzo previously served time in a Los Angeles County jail for 2004 thefts against her mother, states that he is satisfied with the sentence. His retort: “How do you put a price — how do you put a sentence on someone who does that to her own mother, for the second time? It is a good stiff sentence.”

Rizzo and Garrette’s charges, which came last year, included 20 felony counts; among them, first-degree residential burglary, identity theft, and second-degree commercial burglary. The D.A.’s office reports the couple moved into the mother’s home in 2013, subsequently accessed her financial information, and drained several accounts to finance gambling sprees at area casinos.

The D.A.’s office states that, on several occasions, Rizzo also impersonated not only her mother but also an adult protective services agent and a doctor, via e-mails and letters, in order to make withdrawals from her mother’s accounts. None of the stolen money has been recovered but the ring was found in a safety deposit box that had to be drilled open, according to Hovatter. He adds it was Rizzo’s brother who first discovered the thefts and subsequently turned in his sister.