Woman charged with bilking $100k from elderly woman

- Police in Largo have arrested the wife of the accused murderer of Tarpon Springs Dr. Steven Schwartz in an unrelated case of fraud.  She allegedly bilked an elderly woman out of $100,000.

In May of 2014, the Tarpon Springs doctor was found dead in his home along the Anclote River, the victim of an apparent robbery.

"He was a gentle giant, he was an amazing man," friends said at the time.

Almost a year later, Tarpon Springs police arrested Schwartz's handyman, Anton Stragaj.  Now, detectives in Largo say, about the same time as that murder investigation, his wife -- Emirjoni "Lola" Stragaj, as she's called -- was working as a cleaning lady and cozying up to an elderly woman.

"It is a prominent name in this area and it definitely rings some bells," said Largo Lt. Paul Amodeo.

Amodeo says Lola Stragaj was working in the home of a woman who was losing her grip on things.  Stragaj allegedly convinced her to grant her power of attorney over her estate, to add her name to her will.

Stragaj even convinced her to move her money into her account and to pawn jewelry that once belonged to the woman's husband.

"I think the opportunity presented itself," said Amodeo. "I don't think she sought this job. I think she was working there, the opportunity presented itself, and she was able to take advantage of it."

Further, they say she filed fake tax returns.

"Anytime someone takes advantage of any of our vulnerable populations, it's very disturbing," said Amodeo. "I'd be very upset, very upset, if this was somebody in my family."

Stragaj is booked on a $75,000 bond on charges of exploitation of the elderly and fraud.  She is also facing charges from immigration and customs enforcement.

In the unrelated case, her husband is awaiting trial on first-degree murder.

The handyman and cleaning lady are together again -- this time in jail.

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