Mahoning County Judge Diane Vettori-Caraballo has been indicted in federal court, accused of stealing at least $100,000 from a former client.
The 50-year-old faces one count of mail fraud, one count of structuring cash deposits, one count of making false statements to law enforcement and one count of filing a false tax return.
Her husband, 60-year-old Ismael Caraballo, is also charged with one count of filing a false tax return.
Investigators said Vettori-Caraballo stole between $100,200 and $328,000 in cash from the home of a client after that client died in March of 2016.
The indictment says she provided estate planning services for Robert Sampson, including drafting his will. The man died without a will, according to the indictment.
Sampson’s closest living relative was his sister, Dolores Falgiani. Vettori-Caraballo also helped her with her will, which made requests to give the money to friends, relatives, Animal Charity and Angels for Animals, the indictment says.
Falgiani mentioned she had shoeboxes of cash stored at home and then a few months later in March of 2016, she was found dead in her home.
Vettori-Caraballo found the shoeboxes, which contained $20,000, in May, the indictment says.
According to the indictment, Vettori-Caraballo found new money on two other occasions in 2016 and 2017.
Investigators said she made 22 deposits into five different banks within four weeks and lied to the FBI when confronted about it.
Vettori-Caraballo was elected the judge of Mahoning County Court #3 — Sebring Court in 2002. She had jurisdiction over criminal and traffic charges in Sebring, Beloit, Berlin Township, Green Township, Goshen Township, Ellsworth Township, Smith Township and Washington Township. She was re-elected in 2006 and 2012.