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    Woman Convicted of Faking Cancer to Steal from At-Risk Elder

    A Jefferson County jury returned guilty verdicts in the case against a 50-year-old woman from Monument for bilking an elderly Westminster man out of over $69,000. The woman, Nahid “Venus” Moshrefi, DOB: 12-28-66, convinced him that she had cancer when she did not.

    Mrs. Moshrefi met the 80-year-old victim, William Maruca, on the “Live Links” dating service. Mr. Maruca knew her as Venus. They began dating in 2013. Sometime after that she began telling him she had cancer. Mrs. Moshrefi testified before the jury that she did not have cancer.

    The jury heard testimony from two employees from the FirstBank branch where Mr. Maruca had his bank account. They had called Westminster police which initiated a mandatory report of suspected elder abuse. The employees told the jury that Mr. Maruca had written multiple checks to Mrs. Moshrefi for large sums of money.

    When police contacted Mr. Maruca he told them that he paid for Venus’s doctor visits and treatment. He said Venus told him that without treatments she had 5-6 months to live. He said that he knows she has cancer because of the pain she displays to him. He also said that their relationship was kept secret because it was against her religion to be with a white man when she is unmarried. Mrs. Moshrefi’s husband testified that they had been married for 13 years.

    Mrs. Moshrefi is owner/operator of Holistic Healing Health in Colorado Springs, and advertises herself as Dr. Venus K. Moshrefi. On cross-examination she said that she is not a licensed medical doctor in the State of Colorado. Mr. Maruca’s cousin testified that Venus had prescribed over 36 supplements for him for which he paid over $80,000.

    Mr. Maruca paid for trips to California, Hawaii, and Australia for Venus. She told him that she had family in Australia that she would never see again because she was dying. He also bought Venus a car.

    The jury found Mrs. Moshrefi guilty of Theft of an At-Risk Elder (F3) and Criminal Exploitation of an At-Risk Elder (F3). They deliberated four hours, following four days of trial, before returning their guilty verdict on July 24. Sentencing has been set for September 8 at 3:00. She could potentially face up to 24 years in prison.

    Pam Russell
    Public Information

    August 1, 2017

    nahid mashref

    Last Updated: 8-1-2017
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    A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.