West Hills woman allegedly scammed millions in real estate assets from dead men

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Caroline Joanne Herrling faces federal fraud charges in an alleged identity theft scheme that targeted rich dead men.

Police allege that Caroline Herrling forged documents to steal the home of Charles Wilding, who vanished from his Sherman Oaks home and hasn’t been found. A West Hills woman allegedly forged power-of-attorney documents to steal millions of dollars in real estate assets from at least two men who reportedly died under questionable circumstances, including one victim whose body has never been recovered, according to federal prosecutors.

One of Herrling’s alleged victims was 71-year-old Charles Howard Wilding Jr. of Sherman Oaks, described by neighbors as a recluse who mysteriously vanished from his Kingswood Road home sometime in the fall of 2020. O’Donnell pulled the earlier LAPD welfare check report on Wilding and contacted Herrling, who again claimed to be the trustee for his estate. He told Herrling that if she failed to provide a valid phone number and address for Wilding, a formal missing person investigation would be initiated.“I asked the male if he knew his social security number or his California driver’s license number, which he did not,” O’Donnell wrote in the affidavit.

Another woman allegedly told O’Donnell she gave Herrling a $6,075 cash down payment to rent Wilding’s home. On Sept. 11, 2022, Tascon, who suffered from mental illness and had filed a fraud lawsuit against Herrling, fatally shot himself in the head in Abilene, Texas, according to the affidavit. There was no witness to the shooting and Tascon did not leave a note.Law enforcement officers searched Herrling’s home in the West Hills area of the San Fernando Valley on Jan. 12, discovering an elaborate identity theft operation inside, says the affidavit.


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