The Daily Herald reported this week on a disturbing example of elder financial exploitation out of Wheaton, Illinois. Angelica Ledesma was hired to care for an 82-year old elderly woman who lived in the western Chicago suburb. Like so many other seniors when they reach a certain age, the Wheaton woman needed close assistance to complete necessary day-to-day responsibilities, and Ledesma was tasked with providing that needed care.
However, authorities discovered that Ledesma was interested in more than the job of assisting her elderly client. Instead, the caregiver hoped to profit in other ways from her position. While at the elderly Wheaton woman’s home, Ledesma reportedly stole several valuable pieces of jewelry.
In a two month period from December to February this year Ledesma stole two gold rings (one containing multiple rubies), crystal figurines, and a bracelet. On top of all of that, Ledesma also snatched the engagement ring that the Wheaton woman’s deceased husband had given to her decades prior. In total, the stolen items had a value around $5,000.
The theft of the engagement ring proved to be Ledesma undoing, as its absence spurred the elderly victim into a panicked search of her home. Ledesma attempted to return the items when it was discovered that they were missing, but she eventually confessed when questioned by police about the missing items.
Elder financial exploitation continues to affect hundreds of thousands of seniors each year. Some attempts are being made at limiting the problem, including passage of a new law in Illinois to train bank workers on the signs of financial abuse. However, the new law addresses only one forms of financial exploitation. Many other forms, including theft occurring in nursing homes, are likely to continue unless individuals report any suspicious activity. Our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Levin & Perconti are committed to helping victims of this abuse receive the compensation they deserve for their losses. Please contact us if you know of a victim, so that we can assist in the recovery process.