[box type=”default” size=”large”] They’re accused of embezzling $350,000 from a senior [/box]CHICAGO – Three Filipino caregivers of a senior citizen pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned on May 9, 2013 before Illinois Associate Judge Joseph Michael Claps of the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago’s southwest side.
They were accused of defrauding Marshall F. Davies, a 94-year-old senior, more than $350,000 of his retirement money.
Carmelita Pasamba and her younger sister, Jocelyn Vargas Baker, who were both wearing jump suits, and Pasamba’s husband, Edgardo Pasamba, who was dressed in a brown prison uniform, pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of financial exploitation.
During the arraignment, Mrs. Pasamba and Baker were assisted by Attorney Purav Bhatt, while Edgardo Pasamba was assisted by Attorney Donald Rendler-Kaplan.
The defendants will return to court on June 19, 2013 at 10 a.m. for status hearing on the case that will be set for jury trial.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez charged Mrs. Pasamba, 62, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) with Class 1 felony of financial exploitation of a senior citizen; Jocelyn Vargas Baker, 46, also a CNA, with Class 2 felony offense of theft of an amount of from $10,000 to $100,000; and Edgardo Pasamba, 63, of Class 3 felony offense of financial exploitation of a senior citizen. They are all unemployed.
They are all locked up in the Cook County jail.
Carmelita Pasamba is detained for failure to post a $350,000 cash bail; her sister, Jocelyn Baker, is also unable to post a $200,000 cash bail; and Edgardo Pasamba is in detention for failure to put up a $50,000 cash bail.
The charges against them were based on records of proceedings on a suit to recover assets filed against them by Cook County Public Guardian Robert F. Harris. The case, which is pending before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lynne Kawamoto, is set for an oral argument on June 4.
Other defendants in the probate case are Carmelita’s daughter, Donabel Copon; her son, Dennis Pasamba; Attorney Alfonso Bascos, Cindy Rubio and St. Joseph Hospital. They are accused of conspiring in siphoning off more than $500,000 from Davies, a 94-year-old retired engineer, who is residing in a retirement home in Chicago’s north side.
Carmelita met Davies in January 2008 when he was confined at St. Joseph Hospital on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, where she worked as a CNA.
Records show that Davies was hospitalized for hip injury. Carmelita took care of him and they became friends. When Davies checked out of the hospital, the doctors recommended that he be placed under a 24-hour home healthcare. Davies opted, however, to be under the care of Carmelita, who sought the help of her sister, Jocelyn, and her daughter, Donabel Copon, to give Davies 24-hour care.
In March of 2008, Pasamba and her husband Edgardo took Davies, a lifelong bachelor, to the office of Filipino-American Attorney Alfonso Bascos in the Rizal Center at 1332 on West Irving Park Road in Chicago’s north side. Pasamba asked Bascos to prepare for her a power of attorney (POA) so that she could be co-signer in Davies’s checking and other accounts. She also asked Bascos to re-draw a will and trust that gave her control over Davies’ assets.
Pasamba made her husband executor of the will, and Bascos was made “lawyer of executor Edgardo Pasamba in the will.”
In 2007, his physician diagnosed Davies to be suffering from dementia.
Assistant State Prosecutors Sandra Stavropoulos and Mary Louise Ryan Norwell said between January 2008 and July 2011, Pasamba spent more than $250,000 of the victim’s money for herself and her family, giving loans to herself and family members, which were never paid back, purchasing new furniture, rehabbing her home, buying new electronics and a new Mercedes-Benz.
On May 8, 2008, two weeks after she became the holder of Davies’s power of attorney, Pasamba wrote a $30,000 check for herself and withdrew it from Davies’s bank account.
On June 16, 2008, she gave herself another $25,000. She called it “transaction loan” and used the money to remodel her kitchen and basement.
On Oct. 10, 2008, with the POA as her authority, Carmelita sold Davies’s condominium, located in Chicago, from which he was to receive $189,010.70. Pasamba paid herself $50,000 cash out of the proceeds, which she called “bonus.”
Between May 13, 2008 and Oct. 9, 2009, Pasamba, using Davies’s money, “loaned” and gave cash advances and “gifts” totaling $51,000 to her sister Baker, which Baker never paid back. Baker was also the caretaker of Davies at that time.
Pasamba spent a total of $350,000 of the old man’s money for her and her family’s benefits during the three-and-half years she had the POA.
Cook County Guardian Attorney James Burton said if convicted, Carmelita could face imprisonment of 15 years plus fine and restitution of the amount taken from Davies.