Cops: Housekeeper, husband stole at least $500K from Gwinnett widow

A housekeeper and her husband took at least $500,000 from a Gwinnett County widow’s bank account while they were living in the woman’s home, police said.

Ana Zaharia, 34, and Daniel Zaharia, 41, have each been charged with exploitation of an at-risk adult, racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO), theft by taking and records and reports of currency.

Duluth and Gwinnett County police departments spent “several months” investigating the Zaharias, a Gwinnett County police spokesperson said. The 64-year-old victim’s bank initially reported the alleged exploitation to the Duluth Police Department.

Ana Zaharia worked as the victim’s housekeeper and arranged for her husband and children to move into the victim’s home on Anna Ruby Lane in Buford.

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

After the bank contacted the police, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Financial Investigations Unit conducted a forensic audit, allegedly revealing the Zaharias had been diverting “significant sums of money” for several years. The total amount taken was “at least” $500,000, police said.

When detectives visited the victim’s home on July 7, they found the victim on the floor of her bedroom after an apparent fall. The victim was transported to the hospital before the detectives interviewed Ana Zaharia and Daniel Zaharia.

The Zaharias were arrested six days later, on July 13. The victim refused to be placed in an “alternate senior home” after “numerous” attempts were made by detectives and Gwinnett Senior Services to move her.

Ana Zaharia and Daniel Zaharia were both released from jail on July 13 on $110,800 bond. They are barred from contacting the victim while out on bond.

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