CHICAGO (CBS) — Justice for Grace.
She is 98 years old and has dementia and was swindled out of her life savings by four employees of a Lincoln Park nursing home.
2 Investigator Megan Hickey was in court as Grace’s supporters demanded that criminal charges be filed.
“Today’s court hearing was basically a delaying tactic,” said Ross Harano of the Japanese American Citizens League, Chicago chapter.
This is 98-year-old Grace Watanabe’s family.
She has no living family, but these members of the Japanese American Citizens league are the closest thing she’s got.
“Look at those signatures. Do they look like your signature,” said
Watanabe suffers from dementia and sat down with CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman not long after a lawsuit was filed, naming four nursing home employees for stealing more than $700,000 from Watanabe’s bank account.
Since then, the employees have refused to answer any questions about the money.
On Friday, defendant Lisa Lash hid from CBS 2 in the bathroom when asked about it. She allegedly wrote herself a check for $50,000 and called it a gift.
On Friday a Cook County judge ordered Symcare HMG LLC and Symphony Ivy LLC, the owners and managers of the Lincoln Park nursing home, to pay $200 a day until they agree to sit down for a deposition.
Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert believes the nursing home is trying to delay the proceedings as long as they can because of Watanabe’s advanced age.
“It’s obvious you do not need a PhD in actuarial sciences to see what’s going on here,” said Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert.
Meanwhile Watanabe’s supporters are pressuring the Cook County State’s Attorneys’s Office to file criminal charges against the employees. Golbert sent a letter to Kim Foxx about it back in May, but nothing yet.
“I think that she has to go to the wall, take a close look at this case. We believe that criminal charges need to be filed,” Harano said.
CBS 2 reached out to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office about charges. A spokesperson would only tell CBS 2 that this is an ongoing investigation and they’ve been working closely with the public guardians office and Chicago Police.