PITTSTON -- A woman from Luzerne County was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing from her dead aunt.
The accused spoke out, telling Newswatch 16 she did nothing wrong.
Donna Deleo tried to hide from our cameras as police walked her into a magistrate's office in Pittston. That's where she was arraigned on theft charges, accused of stealing more than $20,000 from her dead aunt, Loretta Musto.
But on her way out of court, Deleo spoke up.
"Why did you take the money?"
"I didn't take any money," said Deleo. "No, I took care of her in my house, and I didn't take any money."
According to court papers, Deleo took care of her aunt at her home on Rock Street in Pittston Township. That's when she allegedly began taking money from her aunt's account.
Deleo had power of attorney, and even though no money was left to her in her aunt's will, police say Deleo admitted to taking more than $19,000 in estate money from her aunt after she died. Deleo says she was owed that money for her caretaking services.
"I have records. I have bills that I paid. I was paying her house in Pittston, the bills on her house. Bottom line, I took care of her 24/7," said Deleo.
None of Donna Deleo's neighbors wanted to speak on camera, but most of them told us they were surprised to hear what police were accusing her of doing in these court papers.
Court papers show Deleo admitted she wasn't working at the time and didn't have any money. She told police she knew it was wrong to spend her aunt's money after she died. But that's not the same story she told us after her court appearance.
"So where did these charges come from then?"
"From her family," said Deleo.
"So what? Her family members are accusing you?"
"Yes, of course. It always comes down to family. They didn't want to have anything to do with her, bottom line," said Deleo.
Donna Deleo is free on bail tonight. She told Newswatch 16 off camera she plans to countersue other members of her aunt's family, once all is said and done with these charges.