Johnston Couple Charged for Allegedly Stealing $163K from Dependent Parent

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Trina Mazza and Michael Mazza (WHO-HD)

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JOHNSTON, Iowa – A Johnston couple is facing multiple charges after investigators say they stole more than $163,000 from one of their parents – a dependent adult.

Court documents show the investigation began in November of 2018 after the victim was notified by her bank about suspicious checks that had been written from her account. The checks included $12,000 for a new roof at the Johnston home of her son and daughter-in-law Michael and Trina Mazza, and $6,000 in payments to credit cards from Victoria’s Secret and Scheels.

The victim said those payments were unauthorized and that Trina Mazza had been paying her bills and hiring in-home care services for her because she was “foggy.”

The alleged theft happened between August and November of 2018.

Michael and Trina Mazza were arrested Tuesday and made their jail court appearances Wednesday morning. They are facing four charges each of dependent adult abuse, first degree theft, and forgery.

The pair has bonded out of jail and preliminary hearings in their case are scheduled for March 8th.

Trina Mazza is also facing a separate charge of operating an unlicensed daycare. After an inquiry by Channel 13, the Johnston Police Department confirmed Wednesday that the violation was discovered after a child who was in Mazza’s care was found unresponsive on Feb. 15th, then later died.

A criminal complaint in the case says on Feb. 15th the Johnston Police Department discovered Mazza was providing in-home daycare services to seven children that were not her own. The complaint also says DHS had received complaints in 2011 and 2017 that Mazza had been operating an unlicensed daycare and had notified her both times that un-registered in-home providers cannot look after more than five children at a time.

The name and cause of death for the child has not been released.

The Johnston Police Department, Iowa Department of Human Services, Polk County Medical Examiner, and Polk County Attorney’s Office are continuing to investigate the child’s death.

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