Caregiver’s Family, Lawyer, Hospital Named In Suit

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – Silence did not figure as too golden for Filipino American caregiver Carmelita Pasamba when she suddenly found a “new wealth” from her forgetful elderly ward Marshall F. Davies, 93, who could no longer “tell his age or day of the week.”

Instead of keeping everything to herself and becoming a full-time caregiver to Mr. Davies, who needed 24-hour assistance, Pasamba, 61, even returned to work at the St. Joseph’s Hospital as a Certified Nursing Assistant on reduced hours, and bragged to her supervisor, Cindy Rubio, her new money, the purchase of new Mercedes Benz and employment of her husband, Edgardo Pasamba, as the driver of the new Mercedes, the “iPhone,” “iPad,” her expensive trips and  parties.

After almost two years of withdrawing part of the more than $749,100  from Davies’ bank, money market and monthly pension funds as retired city engineer of Chicago City Hall, by the middle of 2010, the Catholic Charities got an anonymous call suspecting Pasamba of financially exploiting her ward.

When Pasamba was confronted by a Catholic Charities investigator, she turned to  Filipino American lawyer Alfonso S. Bascos for help, telling Mr. Bascos that Mr. Davies did not want to be bothered and only wanted to be left alone.

In two letters to Catholic Charities, Mr. Bascos, 76, wrote that there was no reason for Catholic Charities to worry that money was being stolen because Mr. Davies did not want his privacy violated. At this point, Pasamba was already able to withdraw $689,600 from Mr. Davies financial accounts.

Atty. Dawn Keller, a supervisor at the Public Guardian of Cook County, told this reporter that as a lawyer and an officer of the court, Attorney Bascos was supposed to investigate and cooperate in the investigation of reports of elderly abuse or disabled and not hide them.

But Mr. Bascos told Keller’s subordinate, Atty. James Burton, of the Public Guardian’s Financial Recovery Unit, during a deposition last September when asked why he did not take action when there were rumors of financial abuse, Bascos said,  “I didn’t want to get involved in what she’s (Pasamba’s) doing.”

It was also Mr. Bascos, legal counsel and member of the board of the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago (FACC), to whom Pasamba turned to for help when she asked Mr. Bascos to make her a three-page Special Power of Attorney (SPA) so she can “restyle” herself as Mr. Davies’ co-signer in the bank check and other financial accounts, including the sale of the Davies condo for $189,0101.70 for which Pasamba awarded herself $50,000. She also asked Mr. Bascos to make a new pour-over will and a trust. She paid Bascos $250 for the SPA but paid Bascos $1,750 also for the three-page will out of the Davies account.

The new pour-over will appointed Pasamba as successor Trustee, her husband, Edgardo Pasamba, as Executor, and Attorney Bascos as “retained as attorney for my Executor.”

When the Public Guardian brought the case before the Probate Court, Pasamba issued Bascos $3,685 from Davies account as her attorney’s and appearance fees. But the Court froze Davies’ account causing Bascos’ $3,685 to be dishonored by the bank.

1995 MARSHALL F. DAVIES TRUST CHANGED IN 2008

In 1995, Marshall F. Davies named as beneficiaries in his trust a family friend, May A. Capps, May’s daughter, Sandi Capps, both formerly of Chicago, Illinois now of Walnut Creek, California and Davies’ first cousin, Helen Davies, of Chicago, to receive $12,000 each; the Samaritan Home at 531 E. Washington St., West Bend, Wisconsin in gratitude for taking care of his mother, Marna Davies for 32 years, $60,000; and the rest of his estate described by Atty. Burton as the “ball of wax” to the Salvation Army of 5040 N. Pulaski Rd., Chicago.

2008 MFD TRUST

In the new trust that Attorney Bascos now denies to have crafted on April 27, 2008 that was referenced in the new will that Bascos notarized on the same day in his office, the beneficiaries of trust that Marshall F. Davies signed, although already showing signs of severe dementia,  are as follows:

Salvation Army, $50,000; Carmelita V. Pasamba, of 4330 W. Leland, Chicago, as personal and assistant and caregiver, $100,000; Samaritan Home, $35,000; Donabel Pasamba (Copon), $25,000, (Carmelita’s daughter and ) one of my care givers; Edgardo Pasamba, 61, $25,000, (Carmelita’s husband), a personal assistant and driver, who drives me a lot to places I want to go and visit; Jocelyn Baker, $25,000, (Carmelita’s younger sister); Jose Rizal Heritage Center, a community center of Filipino Americans in Chicagoland, for the maintenance and upkeep of the building, $5,000. This is a not-for-profit organization that provides social services to the community. The Seniors Program of the Filipino American Council of Chicago, $5,000, for seniors and infirmed of the community;

The Health Care Program of the FACC, $5,000; for flu shots, vaccine, health screening and referral programs for elderly and low-income individuals. The Free Legal Services Program of the FACC, $5,000, free legal advice for elderly, low-income individuals and new immigrants in Chicagoland; St. Joseph Cares Team, $5,000; Bantay Bata Philippines, and $5,000; provides house and health care for homeless street children.

The residue of trust is left to Salvation Army, The Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago, Inc. and Carmelita V. Pasamba in equal shares to be used for the benefit of the respective programs.

ORIGINAL TRUST BENEFICIARY SADDENED BY FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION

Reached by phone in Walnut Creek, May Capps, 90, who only learned for the first time that she was beneficiary in Davies’ 1995 trust when contacted by this reporter, said she was saddened to learn that Mr. Davies, a family friend of her late husband, Lawrence Donald Capps, has become a victim of financial exploitation. “We used to exchange greeting cards with Mr. Davies three or four years ago. But I did not hear anymore from him. It’s terrible that something wrong was done to him. That’s not correct. He needs help. At this point, I don’t need the money (from the trust) as long as he is in good health.”

Pasamba was able to withdraw $749,100.03 from Mr. Davies’ accounts since taking care of him in 2008 until mid-2011 while Jocelyn Baker, 45, encashed $60,840; Dennis Pasamba, $15,000; Donabel Copon, $3,000 for a grand total of $753,600.03. In 2007, Edgardo Pasamba declared bankcruptcy while his son, Dennis, Pasamba declared bankcruptcy in 2008.

In a petition for issuance of a citation to discover assets filed by Atty. Burton on behalf of Public Guardian Robert F. Harris before Probate Court Judge Lynne Kawamoto in the Cook County Circuit Court, the petition named as respondents Carmelita Pasamba, Jocelyn Baker, Donabel Copon, Dennis Pasamba, Edgardo Pasamba, Alfonso Bascos, Cindy Rubio and Resurrection Hospital, owner of St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Atty. Charles Slamar, counsel for Salvation Army, said a hearing of the citation to discover asset is slated on April 26 at 10 a.m. before Judge Kawamoto.  Mr. Burton said he is filing a “Citation to Recover Assets” next week, pending receipt of all discovery.

The Public Guardian will also endorse the case to the Illinois State Attorney’s office, which will determine the filing of a criminal case of financial exploitation of an elderly against the respondents before the Cook County Court. Mr. Burton said in a previous similar case that he filed earlier, the Illinois State Attorney filed criminal charges for financial exploitation of the elderly, which is a Class X felony, against a respondent, who pleaded guilty to one count, and was sent to jail for five years. Another respondent was sentenced to three years in jail. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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