Bakersfield couple allegedly scammed Ventura woman according to authorities

Posted at 12:00 PM, Oct 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-27 15:00:51-04

A Bakersfield couple is being accused of allegedly scamming an elderly Ventura woman out of thousands of dollars, according to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

Michael Allen Stewart, 33, and Selene Castillo Gonzalez, 33, were brought to court on suspicion of 11 counts of theft from the woman, 11 counts of grand theft, and three counts of money laundering. 

Authorities said the couple is also facing an aggravated white-collar crime enhancement for stealing more than $100,000. 

According to authorities the elderly woman hired Stewart to remodel her home back in March of 2016. The woman allegedly believed Stewart was a licensed contractor. 

Authorities said Stewart charged the woman for services and goods that were never rendered and had the woman make the checks out to Gonzalez. 

The work Steward did on the woman's home made it uninhabitable. The couple spent the $172,000 that the victim paid them on personal things, according to authorities. 

Both Stewart and Gonzalez have pleaded not guilty and are currently in county jail. Their bail is set at $500,000 each. 

There is an early disposition trial set for November 6, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. inside of Ventura Superiror Court.