Three Filipinos Arrested For Theft Of Elderly Ward’s $350K Money

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – Cook County authorities in Chicago, Illinois arrested on April 4 Filipina caregiver Carmelita Pasamba, her husband Edgardo Pasamba and her sister, Jocelyn Vargas Baker, for financial exploitation of a senior citizen, Marshall F. Davies, who lost more than $350,000 from them.

In a factual proffer for setting bond, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez charged Carmelita 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 theft of the amount from $10,000 to $100,000 range; and Edgardo Pasamba, 63, of Class 3 felony of financial exploitation of a senior citizen. They are all unemployed.

Carmelita Pasamba must post $350,000 cash to get out on bail; her sister, Jocelyn Baker, has to come up with $200,000 cash bail; while her husband, Edgardo Pasamba has to post a $50,000 cash bail. They are all detained in Cook County jail.

The substantial bonds were recommended “especially in the light of their immigration status.” Carmelita entered the United States in 1977 on Visitor/Working Visa from the Philippines. She is not a U.S. citizen and has never received an extension for her visa.

Baker has no record of legally entering the U.S. from the Philippines and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) believes she “is not legally in the U.S.” Edgardo entered the U.S. in 1983 on a Visitor’s Visa from the Philippines but is a Green Card holder.

It is very likely that if they are convicted of their offenses, they could be deported to the Philippines after serving out their sentence. Carmelita faces a 15-year imprisonment.

Prosecutors based their criminal charges against the three defendants from the proceedings of the citation to recover assets filed by Cook County Public Guardian Robert F. Harris pending before Probate Court Judge Lynne Kawamoto of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Originally named respondents in this case are Carmelita Pasamba, Jocelyn Baker, Edgardo Pasamba, Carmelita’s daughter, Donabel Copon and her son, Dennis Pasamba, Atty. Alfonso Bascos, Cindy Rubio and St. Joseph Hospital, who are accused of conspiring in siphoning off more than $500,000 from Mr. Davies, a 94-year-old retired engineer from the City of Chicago, who is residing at a retirement home in Chicago’s north side.

James Burton, who is prosecuting the probate case, told this reporter the criminal cases filed against Carmelita, Baker and Edgardo Pasamba “will not affect my case before Judge Kawamoto.” Attorney Burton added, “I am not sure why they did not prosecute Mr. Bascos and (Carmelita’s) two kids.”

The probate case will have a status hearing on April 19 while the criminal case will be heard on April 25 before the Criminal Circuit Court at 26th and California in Chicago.

Pasamba first met Davies in January 2008 when he was confined at St. Joseph Hospital along Lakeshore Drive in Chicago for hip injury. She cared and befriended him. When Davies was discharged later that month, the hospital recommended that he be confined at a 24-hour home health care but Davies chose Pasamba to care for him.

Pasamba would take a leave from the hospital and asked her sister, Jocelyn Baker, and her daughter, Donabel Copon, to take care of Davies round-the-clock.

DAVIES LIFE LONG BACHELOR

In March of that year, Pasamba and her husband Edgardo drove Davies, a lifelong bachelor, to the office of Attorney Alfonso Bascos at the Rizal Center at 1332 West Irving Park Road in Chicago’s north side. Pasamba asked Bascos to make her a Power of Attorney (POA) so she could be co-signer to Davies 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.”

Assistant State Prosecutors Sandra Stavropoulos and Mary Louise Ryan Norwell said between Jan. 2008 and July 2011, Pasamba spent more than a quarter million dollars 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 motor vehicle.

On May 8, 2008, two weeks after she became the victim’s Power of Attorney (POA), Pasamba wrote a check to herself for $30,000 from the victim’s bank account. A month later, on June 16, 2008, she gave herself another $25,000. She called these transactions “loans” and used the money to remodel her kitchen and basement.

On Oct. 10, 2008, Carmelita acted as POA for the sale of the victim’s condominium, located in Chicago, which the victim was to receive $189,010.70. Pasamba paid herself $50,000 cash out of the proceeds, which she called “bonus.”

From Sept. 1, 2008 to July 6, 2011, Pasamba paid herself a salary of $5,500 per month for her duties as POA, for a total of $170,000. The standard salary for a POA is a minimum wage. Finally, during a Guardianship action in Probate Court, Pasamba produced a document, which was purportedly signed by the victim’s personal physician in 2008. This document stated the victim was competent to make his own decisions. The physician, who diagnosed the victim with dementia in 2007, said that this document is a forgery.

Between May 13, 2008 and Oct. 9, 2009, Pasamba, using the victim’s money, “loaned” and gave cash advances and “gifts” totaling $51,000 to her sister, Baker, which Baker never paid back. Baker was also victim’s caretaker during this period of time.

In total, Pasamba spent $350,000 of the victim’s money for her and her family’s benefits during the three and a half years she was the victim’s POA.

Pasamba hired her husband, Edgardo, to be the victim’s driver.

On or about April 15, 2009, while Edgardo was the victim’s driver as well as his Executor under the victim’s will, the victim purportedly sold his 2000 Buick motor vehicle to Edgardo for $2,000. Edgardo never paid the victim for the motor vehicle.

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