CHICAGO – Cook County authorities arrested last April 4 Filipina caregiver Carmelita Pasamba, her husband Edgardo Pasamba and her sister Jocelyn Vargas Baker in connection with a case for alleged financial exploitation of senior citizen Marshall F. Davies, who had lost more than $350,000 to the three defendants.
Carmelita is required to post $350,000 cash bail to enable her to get out of jail; her sister, Jocelyn Baker, has to come up with $200,000 cash bail; her husband, Edgardo needs to post a $50,000 cash bail. They are all detained in the Cook County jail.
The posting of the substantial amounts of bonds was recommended “especially in the light of their immigration status.” Carmelita entered the U.S. in 1977 on visitor/working visa from the Philippines. She is not a U.S. citizen, and her visa has never been extended or renewed.
Baker has no record of legally entering the U.S. from the Philippines. Edgardo entered the U.S. in 1983 on a visitor’s visa from the Philippines, and he is a green card holder.
If they are convicted, they could be deported to the Philippines after they serve out their sentences. Carmelita faces a maximum prison term of 15 years.
Prosecutors based the criminal charges filed against the three defendants on the records of the proceedings on a citation to recover assets filed by Cook County Public Guardian Robert F. Harris. The case is pending before Probate Court Judge Lynne Kawamoto of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Originally named respondents in this case were 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. They were accused of conspiring in bilking more than $500,000 from Davies, 94 years old, retired engineer, who is residing at a retirement home in Chicago’s north side.
A status hearing on the probate case will be held on April 19, while the criminal case will be heard on April 25.
Court records show that Pasamba first met Davies in January 2008 when he was confined in the St. Joseph Hospital on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago for hip injury. She cared and befriended him. When Davies was discharged, the hospital recommended that he be confined in a 24-hour healthcare home but Davies chose Pasamba to care for him.
Pasamba took a leave from the hospital and asked her sister, Jocelyn Baker, and her daughter, Donabel Copon, to take care of Davies round-the-clock.
In March 2008, Pasamba and her husband Edgardo took Davies, a lifelong bachelor, to the office of Attorney Alfonso Bascos in the Rizal Center at 1332 West Irving Park Road, Chicago.
Pasamba asked Bascos to prepare a power of attorney (POA) for her so she could be a co-signer of Davies in his checking and other bank accounts. She also asked Bascos to re-draw a will and trust that gave her control over the assets of Davies.
Pasamba made her husband the executor of the will, and Bascos was named “lawyer of executor Edgardo Pasamba in the will.”
Assistant State Prosecutors Sandra Stavropoulos and Mary Louise Ryan Norwell said between January, 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 her family members (which were never paid back), purchasing new furniture, rehabbing her home, buying new electronics equipment and a new Mercedes Benz car.
On May 8, 2008 or two weeks after she got the POA from Davies, Pasamba wrote a check for $30,000 payable to her from the bank account of Davies. On June 16, 2008, she gave herself $25,000. She called the withdrawn funds transactions “loans,” which she used to remodel her kitchen and basement.
On Oct. 10, 2008, Carmelita sold Davies’s condominium unit in Chicago, and Davies was to receive $189,010.70 as sales proceeds. For this transaction, Pasamba paid herself $50,000 cash from 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 holder. The regular salary for a POA is a minimum wage.
In a guardianship action in the probate court, Pasamba produced a document, which was purportedly signed by Davies’s physician in 2008. The document stated the victim was competent to make his own decisions. The physician, who supposedly diagnosed in 2007 Davies to be suffering from dementia, said that the document is a forgery.
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