CHICAGO — A nursing assistant stole more than $300,000 from her 94-year-old patient and used the money to buy a new car and remodel her home, authorities said.
Carmelita Pasamba, 62, was ordered held on $350,000 bail Thursday on charges of financial exploitation of a senior citizen, a felony. She faces up to 15 years if convicted, according to Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Pasamba offered to become the in-home nursing assistant for the 94-year-old man, a retired civil engineer for the city, when he was hospitalized in St. Joseph Hospital in 2008. The man was diagnosed with dementia in March 2007 and could not sign legal documents or make financial transactions, according to a statement.
Several months after becoming the man's in-home nurse, Pasamba asked an attorney to change his estate planning documents to give her complete control over them, authorities said. The victim had investments in stocks, bonds, money market, annuities and owned a condo in Chicago, officials said.
Between January 2008 and July 2011, Pasamba took out money she called "loans," a $50,000 "bonus" from the sale of the victim's condo, and gave "gifts" to her relatives. She used the almost $350,000 to buy a new Mercedes-Benz, furniture, electronics and to rehab her home, the statement said.
Pasamba hired her husband, Edgardo Pasamba, 63, as the victim's driver. Her sister, Jocelyn Vargas Baker, 47, was hired to assist in the man's care, and also aided in the exploitation of the victim's estate, a statement said.
Edgardo Pasamba was charged with financial exploitation of a senior citizen and held on $50,000 bail. Joceyln Vargas Baker was charged with theft and held on $200,000 bail, officials said.
Carmelita Vargas lives in Chicago with her husband. She came to the United States from the Phillipines on a visitor/working visa in 1977 and never received an extension, according to the Cook County State's Attorney.