2 Investigators: Caretaker Drains Elderly Man’s Savings Of More Than $500,000

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Financial exploitation of the elderly is on the rise.

Among the worst exploiters are caretakers who steal from the seniors they are supposed to care for.

2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports on one of the worst cases ever handled by the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office — the case of a man suffering from severe dementia.

“I didn’t realize what was going on really,” Marshall Davies says.

Before he could be discharged from St. Joseph’s hospital in 2008, doctors said Davies had to have a full-time caretaker in his home. So he hired Carmelita Pasamba, a certified nursing assistant who’d cared for him in the hospital.

“Mr. Davies was extremely vulnerable,” says James Burton, an assistant public guardian. “He was nearly 90 years old in 2008. He was already exhibiting signs of dementia. And so he was the perfect prey.”

Now the Public Guardian’s Office is trying to get back more than half a million dollars the agency says Pasamba and her family improperly took from Davies over about two and a half years.

“We tend to be jaded sometimes because we see this type of stuff all the time, but this one takes the cake,” Burton says. “Essentially Mr. Davies was their own personal ATM machine.”

How did it happen? First, Pasamba brought Davies to the Filipino American Council to get legal help from Alfonso Bascos, a council board member and attorney who has offices there.

The Public Guardian’s office says Bascos prepared a new will and trust agreement for Davies giving $20,000 to various social service agencies affiliated with the Filipino American Council and giving Pasamba and her family a total of $175,000 upon Davies’ death.

Bascos also prepared a power of attorney giving Pasamba authority to handle Davies’ financial affairs, including making withdrawals and writing checks from Davies’ bank account.

Records obtained by the Public Guardian’s Office show Pasamba used Davies’ money to make a $10,000 down payment on a new $50,000 Mercedes. She also wrote checks for thousands of dollars to pay for her daughter’s tuition and to finance her son’s dance studio.

Her sister, Jocelyn Baker, also worked as caretaker for Davies. Over and above her caretaker salary, she got more than $20,000 she used to remodel her apartment and buy furnishings.

And after Carmelita Pasamba helped Davies sell his condo for $189,000, she gave herself a $50,000 “bonus” from the proceeds, Burton says. She also withdrew $50,000 from his bank account on three other occasions.

“I call it theft — that’s what it is,” Burton says.

Pasamba says they were loans and that she always asked for Davies to approve what she did.

“He was competent and he was alert and oriented the time that I was working for him,” she tells Zekman.

Pasamba spent some of the money fixing her flood-damaged basement and adding a bathroom. She also purchased new stainless steel appliances for her kitchen and a flat-screen TV, among other things.

Pasamba says she now regrets spending the money.

“I just realize that what I did is not right,” she says.

As for Davies, he says he can’t afford to lose the money.

The Public Guardian’s Office is planning to sue everyone involved in this case to try and get back some of Davies’ retirement money.

To prevent this from happening to you or a loved one, experts say you should hire an attorney who specializes in estate planning and make your wishes for your care and finances known in writing.  And always hire caretakers from licensed agencies.

The Illinois Department of Aging has more information on the warning signs of financial exploitation of a senior on its website.

To report a possible case of elder financial abuse, you can also call the agency’s hotline: 1 (866) 800-1409.

In Cook County, you can call the Cook County Public Guardian’s office at (312) 603-0800.

More from Pam Zekman

    She stole the poor old fellow’s money!!! SHE’s a liar and just took advantage of him because he’s near dementia. You should be ashamed of yourself for stealing from this poor old man! And you should not consider yourself Filipino!! You give Filipinos, those who’ve worked hard to come into this country, a bad name!!!!

    • Gloria

      i agree with you coz i am a caregiver too,that’s probably their life back in Phil, they
      thought they can do it here too



    • †Lawn Statue of St. Anthony†

      Bless you, my child.


    She should get locked up!!! She and that lawyer took advantage knowing full well that this old fellow doesn’t know or clearly understand what he is signing!! He is incompetent to understand and you took advantage of him!!! You should get locked up and give back at least half, if not more, of his money!!!!!!

  • tom sharp

    In a civilized state you would think someone in a government “public watchdog” position might have noticed this a lot sooner. Unfortunately, all we have is Lisa Madigan and her posse who are only good at going after bad crib makers and covering up for Lisa’s old man.

  • Del Olken

    After selling the crooks house and car to recover some of the money and throwing her in the hands of the IRS She shouldn’t have to worry about a place to stay cause the state will let her stay in a 8 x 8 cell with her own toilet.

  • Roberta Waker

    The attorney should be disbarred for doing the paperwork that put this woman in a position to abuse her position as a caretaker. EVERYONE involved should go to jail for a long time and the IRS should go after her (and them) for unreported income. What a shame this poor old man was taken advantage of. Where was his family while this was going on or doesn’t he have any family?

    • Flipside

      Yes,agreed with you.put everyone in jail that are involved.made some bad taste to our Filipino community.give her and the lawyer the fullest punishments justice.

  • ld

    She was suppose to be a CAREGIVER . She was a caretaker( funeral director) in this case . She has a scary brain

  • Flipside

    Deport her back to the philippines.she is disgrace from my own kind.

  • Manny

    Why only her? the attorney involved should be prosecuted and disbarred. What a bunch of f##king crooks!!!

  • Gloria

    you are a disgrace to filipino community…. you should be ashame and tens of your family be deported back in Phil. You make me sick… i hope you will rotten in jail, you still have the face to make a comment in front of the televiewers….

  • Bella Haran

    BIG SHAME!!!!!!.she needs to be deported,not only her also that lawyer.shammmme…..on you carmelita pasamba.

  • Chicagos own

    Confiscate everything from her,her family,and lawyer.solution:1) make her or pay the victim back.2) put her and the lawyer in jail.3) after jail deport her back in the snake infested island.

  • Tee Thompson

    Why isn’t the illegal alien thief in jail?

  • Edwin

    That lawyer should have known better. Pasamba and Bascos should be thrown in jail. They and their cohorts must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Dave

    Very very sad. I hope they all get sued and Mr. Davies gets some of his money back. The crooked attorney Bascos should go to jail and disbarred. In fact all of them should be deported back to the Phillipines. Her son’s dance studio who got some of the money is http://dennispasamba.com They should all be very very ashamed of themselves. What is this world coming to when those we are supposed to trust are those eager to rob us blind.

  • Spookiest spook

    Make her do the other thing Filipino women do best. Give all men a happy ending with their chicken heads. Really, that is all they are good for.

  • Elgeem

    Not to hire illegal immigrants or no SS#.

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