CHICAGO (jGLi) – In 2007, Cindy Rubio was well aware of Carmelita Pasamba’s dire financial predicament and her inability to pay her bills. Pasamba told Ms. Rubio, her skilled nurse supervisor at St. Joseph Hospital, that her husband, Edgardo Pasamba, an unemployed and on a disability for a job-related incident, had filed for bankruptcy.Meanwhile, in or around that time, Pasamba “cried because she did not have enough money to pay for her car insurance.Out of pity, Ms. Rubio gave Pasamba “$250 so she could pay for her car insurance.”
But a few months after Pasamba became the “administrator” of her elderly ward, Marshall F. Davies, Pasamba “began renovations on her home” and promptly repaid Ms. Rubio the $250.
Although, Pasamba has been showing her and their co-workers pictures of her remodeled home from Facebook and would bring her new iPhone and iPad, it was only sometime in 2011 that Ms. Rubio’s suspicion of Pasamba financially exploiting Mr. Davies was confirmed when Mr. Edgardo Pasamba dropped off Carmelita Pasamba at St. Joseph Hospital to work in a new Mercedes-Benz.
Instead of alerting any of St. Joseph Hospital personnel of her concerns or to report Pasamba to protective services, Ms. Rubio turned to the former caregiver of Mr. Davies, Lenny Hurley, to say that Pasamba was exploiting Davies financially, adding she “feared she may be in trouble with St. Joseph Hospital.”
NURSE REQUIRED TO REPORT ABUSE
Ms. Rubio’s fear is right. Under an Illinois law, (320 ILCS 20/4(e)), as a licensed nurse at St. Joseph Hospital, she is required to report abuse, neglect or financial exploitation to elder abuse authorities or face criminal charges for her failure to report.
Ms. Rubio is among the respondents the Public Guardian of Cook County named in a petition to issue a citation to recover assets filed before the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Probate Division in Chicago. Other respondents cited in the petition filed by lawyer James Burton on behalf of Public Guardian Robert F. Harris, guardian of the estate and person of Marshall F. Davies, a 94-year-old disabled person, were Carmelita Pasamba, Carmelita’s sister, Jocelyn Baker, Carmelita’s children, Donabel Copon and Dennis Pasamba, and Carmelita’s husband, Edgardo Pasamba, Alfonso Bascos and St. Joseph Hospital.
Meanwhile, in a 3,828-word email to his friends, Attorney Bascos described this reporter and (Mr. Anong) Santos of (Chicago’s Pinoy Monthly) of having “no credibility to speak about the state of mind of (Marshall F.) Davies as they were not present at the time Davies made the changes to his will and trust and at the time he signed them. They do not have personal knowledge of the alleged "dementia' of Davies.”
Mr. Bascos also clarified that “My only role in this controversy was the preparation of legal documents at the request of a client. I had no legal duty or obligation to supervise Carmelita (Pasamba) during the time she worked for Davies. I had no attorney/client relationship with Carmelita. Neither did I have a legal duty to protect Mr. (Marshall F.) Davies from Carmelita after April 27, 2008, the date I prepared the will and trust because the attorney-client relationship with Davies ended on that day. The duty to protect Davies from Carmelita is Davies himself, he being the principal and Carmelita was his agent. He could have removed Carmelita as her agent. Reciprocally, Carmelita, as agent of Davies, owes the duty of fidelity to faithfully comply with the instruction of her principal. Davies has a supervisory role over his agent.”
During his deposition last Sept. 27, 2011 before the Public Guardian, Mr. Bascos denied preparing the trust, saying "I don't really recall this Trust here." But in his 3,828-word email, he now admits preparing the trust.
Each of the respondents in the citation to recover assets is required to appear in court on June 6 or have their attorney appear for them.
The citation to recover assets takes precedence over the citation to discover assets filed earlier. The discovery citation allowed the Guardian to gather evidence to determine if recovery was appropriate.
The citation to recover assets that is seeking a jury trial had charged the respondents with 11 counts of various violations, including Counts I to III for incapacity, for undue influence, and breach of fiduciary duty against Carmelita Pasamba; Counts IV to VII – Conversion against Carmelita Pasamba, Jocelyn Baker, Dennis Pasamba, and Donabel Copon;
CONSPIRACY VS. BASCOS ET AL.
Count VIII – Conspiracy against Carmelita Pasamba, Jocelyn Baker, Edgardo Pasamba and Alfonso Bascos. Edgardo, Carmelita and Jocelyn accompanied Mr. Davies to Mr. Bascos’ office on April 24, 2008 when the power of attorney was discussed, drafted, and purportedly signed by Mr. Davies. On April 27, 2008, Edgardo and Carmelita returned with Mr. Davies to the
office of Mr. Bascos to draft the pour-over will and trust. Carmelita told Bascos to include certain provisions in the trust that would financially benefit her and Mr. Bascos included charities he is affiliated with, as beneficiaries of thenew trust.
Bascos is the legal counsel for the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago and is its registered agent. The FACC and its charities are being investigated by the Guardian. Count IX –Professional negligence (malpractice) by Alfonso Bascos for preparing the estate documents for Mr. Davies, including a power of attorney for property, pour-over will and a trust. Subsequently, Mr. Bascos sent letters to Catholic Charities Elder Abuse to prevent Catholic Charities from gaining information as to whether Carmelita Pasamba was financially exploiting Mr. Davies.
DEVIATED FROM PROFESSIONAL STANDARD
As Mr. Davies’ attorney, Mr. Bascos carelessly, negligently, and irresponsibly breached his duties to his client, Mr. Davies; he failed to exercise reasonable or competent professional judgment, care, skill, or prudence, and he substantially deviated from accepted professional standards of practice.
Carmelita Pasamba, the named agent under the power of attorney and named successor trustee, used the legal documents that Mr. Bascos drafted to gain control of all of Mr. Davies’ assets, and converted more than $500,000 of Mr. Davies’ money to her family although each caregiver in the family was supposed to be paid $13 per hour.
As a direct and proximate consequence of Mr. Bascos’ actions and inactions, Mr. Davies lost more than $500,000. Count X-Breach of duty of care against St. Joseph Hospital. St. Joseph Hospital owed a duty of care to Mr. Davies, as a frequent patient at St. Joseph Hospital, who was financially exploited by Carmelita Pasamba, one of its employees, while she worked for St. Joseph Hospital as certified nursing assistant.
FAILURE TO REPORT ELDER ABUSE
In 2008 alone, Mr. Davies was hospitalized twice at St. Joseph Hospital. St. Joseph Hospital knew or should have known of the financial exploitation by Carmelita Pasamba. And Count XI – Failure to report elder abuse by St. Joseph Hospital. Ms. Rubio had a duty to report Carmelita Pasamba, under the Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, because she knew that Carmelita Pasamba has power of attorney for Mr. Davies that Pasamba used to steal money from Davies.
In each of these counts, the Public Guardian is seeking to recover more than $500,000 Mr. Davies lost and order them to repay not less than $536,682 to Davies’ estate. It also asked to award to petitioner punitive damages to all respondents, except Ms. Rubio and St. Joseph Hospital, because each respondent’s conduct was intentional, willful and wanton, and in reckless indifference to Mr. Davies’ rights and interests.
Mr. Davies, a retired civil engineer, who has no known relative, was hospitalized in January 2008 at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago due to hip pain that kept him from walking normally. Upon admission, Mr. Davies admitted he was forgetful at times.
Eight months later on September 2008, when given a mental status, Mr. Davies said the current year was 1918 and he could not name the president and the mayor where he lived. He was diagnosed with dementia.
Dr. Geoffrey Shaw, a licensed psychiatrist, who interviewed Mr. Davies in June 2011, said Mr. Davies “suffered from severe dementia in September 2008,” lacking the capacity to make personal and financial decisions as early as April 24, 2008.” ([email protected])