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Elder Law

Caregiver used legal documents to siphon $350K from elderly man’s assets, prosecutors say

Posted Apr 9, 2013 11:35 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Carmelita Pasamba met Marshall Davies, who was then 90 years old, in 2007, while working as a nursing assistant at an Illinois hospital at which he was a patient.

Now Pasamba, 62, is facing a criminal case for allegedly siphoning off over $350,000 of his assets. She is charged with felony financial exploitation of an elderly person, accused of using estate-planning documents to bilk Davies as she and other relatives provided him with 24-hour at-home care after he was released from the hospital, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Three months after she started working for Davies, Pasamba got a lawyer to help her employer draft a will, a trust document and a power of attorney that put her at the helm, the newspaper says, relying on information from Cook County prosecutors. She was a trustee and her husband was executor of the will. Family members of Pasamba were among the beneficiaries.

Prosecutors contend that Pasamba took money from Davies above and beyond fair compensation for her work, including a $50,000 bonus when she sold his condominium in Chicago's fashionable Lincoln Park neighborhood for $189,000.

Soon after she began working for Davies, Pasamba began posting on her Facebook account about remodeling her home and showing up at work at the hospital with new electronic devices. Although coworkers gossiped about the expenditures, they didn't alert authorities as mandated by state law, attorney James Burton of the public guardian's office told the newspaper.

Attorney Alphonso Bascos, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, helped Davies execute power-of-attorney documents, the Tribune reports. He said Davies, who had previously been diagnosed with dementia, apparently unbeknownst to the lawyer at the time, seemed lucid and said yes when asked directly if he wanted Pasamba to hold his power of attorney.

Two years later, when he learned of the theft allegations, he was shocked and angry, said Bascos. "But everything I did was aboveboard," he told the newspaper Friday, adding: "I followed the instructions of a client, nothing else."

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