The wife of an elderly Federal Way millionaire is accused of bilking his life savings while neglecting his deteriorating health.
King County prosecutors have charged Juliana Cratsenberg, 56, with felony theft for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the real estate mogul during their four-year relationship. She is to be arraigned Thursday, when she will enter a plea.
Cratsenberg and her 86-year-old husband, Andrew Cratsenberg Sr., are still married, but his sons have obtained a restraining order against Juliana Cratsenberg, also known as Young Min Song, barring her from contacting her husband until the case is resolved.
Attempts by The News Tribune to reach Juliana Cratsenberg and Andrew Cratsenberg's sons were unsuccessful.
According to court documents filed by prosecutors, the sons have tried since 2008 to wrestle control of their father and his fortune from his wife, who met the elder Cratsenberg about the time he was widowed and diagnosed with dementia. The papers do not say how the couple met.
"Juliana Cratsenberg gained Andy's trust and love, isolated him from his family, controlled his movements, controlled his finances, eventually caused him to rely completely upon her for all of his daily needs, and, ultimately, physically and verbally abused him," according to the charging documents.
The court records show:
The couple kept their relationship secret from Cratsenbergs two sons for the first month, until their father announced she was moving in with him and they were discussing marriage, which would be her fourth.
Juliana Cratsenberg took to wearing the jewelry of her husbands deceased wife, had him pay off her debts and persuaded him to financially care for her two adult children, who she later tried to have him adopt so they'd be included in his will.
She bought herself a $50,000 wedding ring and a $24,000 Lexus SUV, used her husbands credit card to buy $86,000 worth of purchases and spent hundreds of thousands to buy her children a house in Tacoma and pay for their college tuition.
She got involved with Cratsenberg's two businesses and made poor decisions that lost him a lot of money, prompting his sons to fight for guardianship in 2009.
As part of the process, a doctor performed a court-ordered assessment of Cratsenberg in March 2009 and concluded he had "little insight into (his) diminished capacity."
Andrew Cratsenberg denied in the assessment that Juliana Cratsenberg lived with him or that their relationship was serious.
Days later, she applied for a marriage license. Ten minutes after the required three-day waiting period ran out, the couple said "I do" before a retired judge with no family present.
Andrew Cratsenbergs sons discovered the nuptials after a friend of their fathers called them a week later. The sons immediately filed for a protection order that would declare their father a vulnerable adult and set up a trust to block his wife from his personal and business bank accounts.
During a video deposition for the lawsuit in 2009, Andrew Cratsenberg showed obvious signs of dementia, prosecutors allege. He believed the year was 1968, couldnt name his parents or provide basic information about himself and insisted he was born in Costa Rica.
An agreement signed in August 2009 limited Juliana Cratsenbergs inheritance and forced the couple to route all their purchases through a newly created trust to protect Andrew Cratsenbergs interests.
Juliana Cratsenberg did not abide by the rules, prosecutors allege, and the company handling the trust described her as "outright obstructive, rude and difficult."
She took $100,000 from her husbands bank account before the trust was created and later admitted she lost it gambling at casinos. She also diverted her husbands Social Security check into the private account, which was a violation of the trust agreement.
Andrew Cratsenberg had a stroke in November 2010, and officials said his wife failed to get him medical treatment for days.
"At some point, Juliana dragged Andy across the floor to the bathroom when he was unable to walk, causing rug burns and cuts on his legs and feet," the documents state. "It was only when she couldnt get him off the floor that she called 911."
Cratsenberg is in a wheelchair as a result of the stroke.
As he recovered in a nursing home, Juliana Cratsenberg was barred from seeing him because staff members said she was too disruptive and "manipulative and abusive" toward her husband.
Although Andrew Cratsenbergs sons took immediate civil action to get their father away from Juliana Cratsenberg, Federal Way police were not called until last February. Their investigation led to the criminal charges filed in the case.
"The good news is that the family intervened and made a difference right away," police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock said, adding the familys struggle is "an opportunity to understand that as difficult as it is to think about these things, we have to protect our seniors."