Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

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Source: District Attorney of Santa Barbara

District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that Yvonne Alish Castillo, 34 years old, of Santa Barbara pled to one count of Felony Grand Theft under Penal Code section 487(a).  Castillo also admitted a special allegation that her theft involved an amount in excess of $65,000.00.  

 Castillo, a licensed physical therapist, began providing in-home Pilates classes for John Doe, an elder and Jane Doe, an elder, on February of 2013.  In June of 2016, an employee of the victimsbecame suspicious of the amounts that Castillo was charging them.  An attorney for the victims reviewed bank records and discovered that Castillo had charged them almost $200,000.00 for Pilates classes in a little over three years.   The investigation revealed that Castillo never provided any invoices and always made sure that no one was present in the room when she received her checks from Mr. Doe who was 87 years old at the time.  In 2014 alone, Castillo collected checks totaling $62,100.00.  At the height of her theft, Castillo was collecting checks in excess of $7,500.00 per month.  When interviewed by law enforcement, Castillo admitted to “taking advantage” of the victims.  The victims provided a statement to the Probation Department where they stated that they felt violated by Castillo and that she “masqueraded as one person and behaved like a criminal.  The only difference was her costume.  She wore expensive Pilates pants instead of a ski mask”. 

District Attorney Dudley stated, “It is particularly reprehensible that the elderly victims were taken advantage of by someone that they trusted, befriended and allowed into their home.  Criminals can be total strangers or trusted acquaintances.  It is important that we do all we can to protect the vulnerable members of our community”.  The case was investigated by the California Department of Justice and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. The case was prosecuted by fraud specialist, Deputy District Attorney Gary Gemberling.

Castillo will be sentenced on April 20, 2018 when she will be placed on probation for four years, ordered to pay $104,000.00 in restitution and be ordered to serve 180 days in the Santa Barbara County Jail. 

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jazzzybelle267 Apr 20, 2018 11:00 AM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

I would like to follow up and find out if she will indeed spend 6 months in jail. She has a Phd and has pretty much ruined her life! Sentencing is today (4/20/18)

Luvaduck Feb 21, 2018 02:21 PM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

Besides confiscation of whatever she has that can be sold and returned against what she stole and owes those people, she should serve a term of no less than 5 years working 6 days a week, 8-hour swing shift at a nursing home. She will need to be supervised so no night shift.

Sprigofsage Feb 21, 2018 06:50 AM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

I am so glad she was caught!! Hopefully the elderly folks will receive all reparations due. As an aside, why does someone with a doctorate in PT teach pilates?

a-1529734222 Feb 21, 2018 04:46 AM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

This is definitely not cool, but how is this theft? Isn't is the American way to charge exorbitant amounts for products and/or services? If this were the norm, shouldn't we then be arresting every single used car salesperson, pharmaceutical executive, cable employee, and the entire staff of insurance companies? As much as I despise the actions of the aforementioned legal scam artists, this just sounds like a case of pure capitalism - i.e. charge your dumb customer as much as possible for as little services as possible.

homers Apr 20, 2018 11:25 AM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

She was a con artist and opportunist plain and simple. No different than being ripped off by any other in home service provider. Charger with elder abuse for the mental anguish she caused them too. At that age stress alone can kill.

a-1529734222 Feb 22, 2018 11:28 AM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

This is a really good point. Before everyone gets on the pitchfork bandwagon, perhaps this was just a clerical misunderstanding. She was providing a service and these people kept paying her. Why would you pay for something without knowing or questioning the total for over 3 years? What if she was going above and beyond in her service? There are a lot of hair stylists that charge a ridiculous amount but is that grand theft? Same with insurance companies, doctors, etc. I agree with the above poster. She could be villanized for nothing really, plus had the decency to handle it instead of drag it out through the court system causing everyone a ton more money. Lawyers often suggest you settle and be done because it's easier for them, not for the client.

a-1529734222 Feb 20, 2018 07:52 PM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

She considers it an honor to be entrusted with a patient’s rehabilitation needs and the opportunity to work with them to achieve their goals and the highest level of success. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She can be found at either the beach or on the trails with her energetic dog. Yeah right an honor. Despicable woman - she can also be found ripping off elderly victims. LOSER

Flicka Feb 20, 2018 04:46 PM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

She deserves a heftier sentence and needs to pay more in restitution since they are letting her get away with $100,000. Despicable woman!!

a-1529734222 Feb 20, 2018 04:27 PM
Pilates Instructor Charged with Grand Theft

Hayashida & Associates in Goleta still lists her (with picture) on their website as Dr. Castillo, giving the appearance she's still on their staff.

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