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Toronto couple charged after police say woman, 94, duped out of life savings

A husband and wife are facing charges after Toronto police say a 94-year-old woman was duped out of her life savings.

Police say Norma Marshall, who lived alone, hired a housekeeper about four years ago and that over the years, the housekeeper became more involved in her daily activities and finances.

Earlier this year, police say the housekeeper said she and her family were moving back to their native Portugal and asked Marshall to go with them, and she agreed to help them financially.

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It's alleged that the housekeeper's family — including her husband and two young children — moved into Marshall's home in early March, confining the woman to a smaller bedroom and selling off much of her furniture and jewelry.

Police allege Marshall was defrauded of most of her life savings — about $25,000 — and that the housekeeper never had any intention of emigrating with her.

Vera Nunes, 32, and her husband, Luis Serpa Da Conceicao Santos, 38, both of Toronto, are each charged with two counts of mischief under $5,000 and mischief interfering with property.

The investigation is ongoing and police say further charges may be laid. They also say they believe there may be other alleged victims.

Police say they arrested the couple last week after being contacted by a concerned citizen who became suspicious and officers went to the home to check on the senior.

Marshall said if it hadn't been for the concerned citizen, no one would have known about her situation.

"The life savings is one thing, but what it does to you emotionally is worse," Marshall said. "You don't need a lot of money when you get old, you just need your rent and some food... but you do need people around you."

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