MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The caretaker of an elderly person who is legally blind and has dementia, along with her partner, is accused of stealing approximately $130,000 from her.
Evelyn Dinora Lopez De Ramirez De Hernandez, 45, and Yuri Hernandez, 45, are facing multiple counts of financial exploitation of the elderly.READ MORE: Appeals Court Says Florida Tech Law Violates First Amendment
“This poor woman needed care and assistance, which is why she hired De Ramirez De Hernandez,” said
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in a statement. “But what she allegedly received was an apathetic concern about her daily physical needs and a greedy hand rummaging through the finances intended to provide for her care.”
It was the woman’s relatives in North Carolina that alerted Miami-Dade police to the situation after they received a call from her investment advisor.
According to the advisor, he received a call from the woman who said she wanted to withdraw $40,000 from her investment account. The advisor would later tell investigators he could hear a female voice in the background telling the woman what to say and how to answer his questions.
He told her to withdraw that amount, she would need to come to his office.
The following day the woman, who was in a wheelchair, arrived accompanied by Ramirez De Hernandez. He told her she would have to wait outside because his discussion with his client was confidential. When she left, the advisor asked the woman about her strange behavior on the phone call. She told him she was fine and didn’t need to withdraw any money.
Three days later, Ramirez De Hernandez reportedly returned, without the woman, and presented the advisor with a “Power of Attorney.” She then sought to withdraw the funds on behalf of the woman, according to the state attorney’s office.
The adviser told Ramirez De Hernandez even with power of attorney, the woman would still have to be present for her to withdraw the funds.
The advisor later contacted the woman’s family in North Carolina about what had occurred. They contacted relatives who live in Miami went to check on her.READ MORE: Site Of Surfside Condo Collapse To Be Sold To Dubai Developer
According to the state attorney’s office, they found the woman awake, but disoriented, and covered in urine and feces. The woman was taken to the hospital to be checked out.
While the relatives were in the home, a woman arrived and said she had been hired by Ramirez de Hernandez to go by once a day, give the woman a sandwich, clean her up, and give her all her medications at once, instead of in the prescribed manner.
According to police, an investigation revealed extensive financial activity within the woman’s accounts, with the money allegedly going from Ramirez De Hernandez into accounts controlled by Hernandez.
“It is shameful when people defraud members of our community; however, it’s appalling to see criminals
exploit our vulnerable elderly community,” said Miami-Dade Police Director George A. Perez in a statement. “Our elderly community has given so much to create the foundation of today’s society, and it is our responsibility to protect them.”
Ramirez De Hernandez, 45, has been charged with exploitation of the elderly/disabled over $100,000, theft from the elderly, and organized fraud.
Hernandez has been charged with theft from the elderly, organized fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Here are tips offered by the State Attorney’s Office on how to avoid this from happening to a loved one:
Your goal should be to find a trustworthy, compassionate, and responsible caregiver.
Do you feel most confident using a home health agency with aides on staff?
• This is the more expensive option but there is usually oversight & management.
Or would you rather hire an independent caretaker or contractor directly
• This may be more affordable, but it also requires more personal involvement and personal oversight
Whichever you choose, you and your loved one who needs care should interview potential applicants together if possible.
• You should have some prepared written questions for your interview
• you should be clear about what you expect to have done and what you see as the job requirements.
• Hiring someone without taking proper preparation is always taking a risk