Tag Archive: scams

When I last wrote, we’d gotten the house cleared, and the painter had begun working. After that, we got new carpet. Let me put in a plug for Empire Today. They were easy, affordable, and did the work the next day, as advertised. We were quite impressed.

Unfortunately, Bub (Rich’s mom) thinks we’re railroading her. Everyone we speak with tells us that she shouldn’t have been living alone as long as she had (she’s 88). That they kept an eye on her. We could see that she was not taking good care of herself. Her primary doctor has written that she has dementia and can’t take care of her finances. However, Bub insists that she was getting along fine, that she gets enough money to live on, and that she wants to go home. Well, home, we keep telling her, must be sold, so that you may have funds with which to live in a nice place and not the shithole you’re in now.

Luckily, the house sold in record time. Ten days after it went on the market, we had an offer. We countered upwards a bit, and they accepted. Bonus: they want only a 30-day escrow. That means that escrow will close before Katy gets out of her current jail stint. She’s still got the three San Diego felonies to contend with, plus the new elder abuse charge in Murrieta. Still, with even just a few days out, visiting her grandma at the nursing home, getting her all upset and worked up… we were worried that Bub, at the time she had to sign the final papers, might balk and fret, “But what’ll happen to Katy?”

Good news: Bub’s broken elbow is as good as new.

Bad news: That means that she is now on private pay. We get a call the day Medicare ended. They need $6,700 today. “So sorry, but we don’t have it. As soon as the house sells, we’ll be paying you in full, as agreed.” She didn’t know what we were talking about. We told her that both the Business Director and the Social Services Director told us, on more than one occasion, with both Rich & me present, that we could just “run up a bill,” and yes there will be late charges, but we’d be thrilled to pay it all in one lump sum when the house sells and we break Bub the hell out of there.

(This nursing home is supposed to be a good place. God help you if you end up in a good one. I wouldn’t wish a bad one on my worst enemy. A thick envelope was mailed to Bub at her place of residence from the nursing home. It contained admissions paperwork that they needed her to fill out and sign. Apparently, instead of walking down the hallway and asking her to fill it out [she broke her left elbow; but she’s right-handed], they mailed the papers to her house, explaining in the cover letter that they hadn’t been able to contact her.)

She’s been to visit the house a couple times now, and she seems resigned to selling it. But we keep hearing, from multiple sources, that she’s very angry with us for all this. She’s so nice to our faces, but as soon as we leave, she’s working with Katy’s boyfriend to counteract everything. On our way back one day we received a call from Bub’s attorney. He’d just spoken with Boyfriend, who said he was calling for Bub, who wanted to know “what her rights were.” Bub told my mom that she wants to revoke Rich’s power of attorney. I wouldn’t be surprised if she disinherited him. Sociopaths are very good at separating their victims from all the people who want to protect them.

We’re planning on moving her to Grossmont Gardens (who everybody says is excellent) on Sunday the 13th. This Sunday we’re going up to try and sell the furniture she won’t be taking with. We’ve got the small antiques, which we’ll sell for the best prices. Whatever’s left goes to Goodwill. We’ve been trying to get Boyfriend to come over and collect the furniture it’s so critical that Katy have. He’s got two more weekends. Problem is, he doesn’t have money for a storage shed, and Bub doesn’t have a checkbook with which to give him money.

On Tuesday, the real estate agent came over with the final papers to sign, and then we went over to the escrow company to sign their papers. So it’s a done deal now. Whew.

Just yesterday evening, I got a call from Bub’s bank. Apparently, they’d gotten a call from the Boyfriend, who said that Bub wanted to withdraw money, but she didn’t have a checkbook and didn’t have any identification*, and what could she do? The banker asked to speak to Bub, and Boyfriend hemmed and hawed something about being outside, and he’d have to call back. I explained briefly about the situation, of which she already seemed to be aware – that’s why she called. I told her Boyfriend has no business with the account, and please to call us again if anything unusual happens. Plug to U.S. Bank. They’ve done a fantastic job of helping us with all this crap.

*She actually doesn’t have any proper I.D., as it turns out. She voluntarily gave up driving shortly after she was widowed. She never drove before, and the few times she tried it she arrived “shaking like a leaf.” So no driver’s license. She never needed to get a state I.D. And she doesn’t have a passport; she’s probably never left the country. This was all a fun surprise when we went to the escrow company: they can’t notarize the signature without I.D. We had to wait for the real estate agent and her boyfriend to arrive, to witness and attest that they both knew her, and both knew the escrow agent. Yikes. That was close.

Guess Who’s In Jail Right Now?

That’s right, kids. Our favorite young criminal was taken into custody this morning for 119 days. Hopefully she’ll serve at least 30-45 days of that. Then there are still the felonies in San Diego after she gets out of Riverside jail. And the detectives are still working on the latest elder abuse charge – that hasn’t even gone to the District Attorney yet. At least she’ll be out of our hair for a little while.

The house is almost finished getting painted. We’re going up tomorrow and again Sunday. We’ll be moving furniture to the garage in preparation for new carpet. All the small antiques we’ll be packing up and selling ourselves. No need to have a fire sale on those, because we can’t move Rich’s mom into assisted living until the house sells anyway. As for the furniture, we’re taking one piece that we think is valuable. We’ll do the research and sell it and the small antiques ourselves. Since we can’t have an estate sale there, we’re just going to quietly tell a couple of the neighbors, and the real estate agent, that there is furniture for sale in the garage, all offers considered. Anything left over at the close of escrow will go to Goodwill.

Rich’s mom is only concerned with Katy getting certain pieces of furniture that belonged to her late mother. While compiling all the banking info for the police detective, Rich discovered that his mom has bailed Katy out of jail four times in the past 18 months, three times just last December! There’s also another new petty theft that was only charged on January 7th. She’s been a busy girl!

Not Much to Update

The house is finally ready for painting. That will start on Monday. We’re still planning on moving Rich’s mom to Grossmont Gardens a week from tomorrow. She still thinks she will be able to stay on her own at home. But her health is deteriorating quickly anyway, and she’s beginning to realize the inevitable. We’ve got to get her out of that hideous nursing home.

We also met with a lady from an estate-sale service to discuss liquidating the antiques she won’t have room for. They’re all she has left for savings. Then when most of the furniture is moved out, we’ll have to re-carpet before it goes up for sale.

Rich is still working on applying for V.A. benefits for his mom. That’s no simple task, let me tell you. We’ve not heard anything from Katy, thank God. Now that the money is gone, Katy has no more use for her grandma.

Yay! A Drama-Free Day!

Yesterday we spent the whole day cleaning and moving furniture, and getting antiques dusted and displayed for an appraiser. No ugly scenes in the street, no new surprises, no drama. Whew. My back is killing me.

We did find out a bit more on her most recent charges. You can find all these public records on the internet. These are all still current. In chronological order:

The “Beer Run” (petty theft) – A couple years ago, she was with a bunch of her worthless friends. They were all stoned and drunk, and ran out of beer and munchies. So they went to a grocery store at four in the morning to steal some. They got caught. She keeps getting probation, over and over, and keeps violating it, over and over. To her credit, though, she had been slowly paying off the hefty fine the court slapped on her. It was nearly paid off.

Elder abuse and Theft (#1) – this was the first go-around with Rich calling the police to report Katie stealing money from her grandma. Again the same story with probation. She’s also supposed to be paying restitution to grandma, and there’s to be “no negative contact.”

Petty theft (#2) – this happened last August. We don’t know any details on this one.

The San Diego felonies – Last December 2nd, Katie and her boyfriend were arrested in S.D. and charged with Possession of Stolen Property, Grand Theft, and Use of More than 4 Stolen Credit Cards. There was a $50,000 bail for those, that’s how grandma paid $5000 to get her out.

Elder abuse and Theft (#2) – the latest round that you all have been reading about.

Here’s the interesting part: When you’re on probation, any petty theft or minor misdemeanor is considered serious. Even if she steals two dollars, it’s still a felony. The first elder abuse charge was her first felony. Because she was on probation, the second petty theft in August would be her second. And the big felonies in S.D. would be her third. Even if the August petty theft is dismissed, the second elder abuse charge would still be her third felony.

In California we have a somewhat controversial law on the books called “Three Strikes.” The idea is that if you’ve committed three felonies, you’re considered a career criminal, and that third felony will put you in jail for a MUCH longer time: 25 years to life.

Yikes. She is in BIG trouble.


The Saga Continues

Yesterday we went over and got a lot of work done. The house has to be painted, so we’re removing everything from walls and moving furniture to the centers of rooms. Amazing amount of knick-knacks and fake plants all covered in dust, books, pictures of that damn granddaughter Katy. So Rich calls Katy’s boyfriend (our only way to get a hold of her) and tells them we’ll be there for a couple of hours, and if they want to get their stuff out of the house, they should do it now. They’ve had notice for more than a week to get it out, and it’s still there. Now the locks have been changed and they’re not allowed in the complex, except by our express permission.

Katy tells Rich that Grandma wants to come home, and that she’s mad at us for selling the house. Knowing full well that she isn’t even able to get in and out of a car, or use the bathroom by herself, or dress herself, much less come home, he told Katy to go ahead and bring Grandma home and we’ll put the house back the way it was. A couple hours went by. Much to our surprise, she and boyfriend and a punk friend show up with Grandma in the passenger seat. Another huge argument ensued in the street. The neighbors must LOVE our family by now. Rich’s mom could literally not get out of the car. He told them all to get her back to the nursing home immediately. They left, after security showed up (I called). I also called the nursing home and started yelling at whoever I could get in charge on the phone. They had effectively kidnapped her!

Then we called the police, again, and then booked over to the home. They were there, thank god, and I laid into the nursing staff, who stood there and gawped at me like dumb bunnies.

We went into the nursing director’s office, where they explained that they were not a locked facility, and they had no instructions to not release her to any particular individuals. The boyfriend had claimed to be her grandson, apparently, and they don’t check ID’s. It was impossible to get two words out before being interrupted by the nursing director. We both called her on it, on two separate occasions. “Okay, can I talk now? I’ll start over…”

Meanwhile, Katy and boyfriend are wheeling grandma down to her rehab, as though nothing was amiss. She called Katy “dear heart.” We had to go into a previously-scheduled meeting with the social services director which was just ridiculous. She didn’t introduce herself or even make eye contact. She wanted nothing to do with “family disputes.” She did want, however, to know what Rich’s discharge plans would be. We tried explaining to her that because of Katy, our options are about nil. We have to sell the house as quickly as possible, because in two weeks, Medicare will run out, and after that, it’s about nine thousand a month to keep her in the nursing home. Up front.

The police showed up, and Rich filed an “incident report,” because of boyfriend impersonating a relative.

Meanwhile, all Rich’s mom cares about is that Katy get certain furniture. She’s living on someone’s couch right now, and will (please god) be going to jail soon, so we don’t see how she can take any furniture. Besides, we have to sell everything for money.

Going back tomorrow to finish the painting prep, and we’ll see what fresh surprises are in store for us! Whee!

On December 30th, Rich’s 87-year-old mom fell at home and broke her elbow.  She’d been resisting moving to a smaller place, or assisted living, for the past few years, always saying she wanted “just one more summer” at her own home.  Rich did not want to force her into assisted living, but did ask that she wear a LifeAlert bracelet.  Now it’s clear she will need to go into assisted living at this point.

Rich, who has power of attorney for his mom, then went to the bank to see about the $29,000 that was in a CD account.  That would finance several months of assisted living for her now, until we could sell her home.  The nursing home she’s in right now is NOT GOOD.  (And everyone says that that one is the best!)  Imagine Rich’s surprise when he found out the CD balance was actually just $6,800.  Then two days later another $2,800 check cleared. As it turns out, Rich’s niece, Katy, who we’d all thought was on the right path finally, had been stealing money from her grandma all this time.  We’re talking about $48,000 over three calendar years.  She’s got a four-page-long rap sheet with multiple felonies, is a drug addict, and has violated probation four or five times (and they just keep giving it to her again, because the jails are so overcrowded).  Meanwhile Grandma keeps bailing her out (five grand last time), forking over thousands for a criminal defense lawyer (so she can defend herself against earlier elder abuse and theft charges – how’s that for irony?) while telling Grandma that she needs the lawyer so she can fight for custody of her three-year-old, whose father wants to get full custody.  That great-granddaughter is the light of her life, and Katy knows it.  All this and she’s only 24 years old.

Every time we go up (four hours round-trip) there are new surprises waiting for us.  Yesterday we showed up at the house only to find Katy and her boyfriend just leaving, and there followed a hideous scene in the street complete with lots of screaming FU’s and finger-throwing.  Apparently they’d just tried to access the account again in the previous 24 hours, only to find that Rich had closed it.  Undoubtedly she’d been at the house looking for a checkbook (already confiscated by us).

The rest of our day was spent at the police station and the bank.  FUN!  We’d come up to clean the house and prep it for painting and new carpet, and got none of that done.  We did get a few valuables stashed at our house, so there shouldn’t be much else she can steal.  Getting the locks changed will be our priority next visit (tomorrow).  The guardhouse and neighbors have been alerted that they are not to be there.  We’re already going up two to three times a week.

So poor mom is stuck in that awful nursing home for weeks now, until the house sells.  More money for that now, too, because insurance will only cover a very limited stay.  The saddest part is that she defends and makes excuses for Katy.  She says she doesn’t remember where the money went, that she doesn’t understand how that much could be gone.  She says she understands though, because Katy had a bad childhood.  She “hates the sin but loves the sinner.”  Her father was an ass, and committed suicide when she was six.  Her mom (Rich’s sister) suffered from brain tumors for seventeen years before passing away when Katy was eighteen.  But her mom gave her a good upbringing despite her illness.  She had two sets of doting grandparents and her uncle.  Plenty of people had less-than-ideal childhoods, but never become criminals.  She actually exhibits many signs of being a sociopath.  The officer who took our report yesterday seemed quite motivated.  She went to the bank and to visit Rich’s mom after we left.  Hopefully Katy will go to jail this time.

The other day, Rich's 86-year-old mother, Bub, got a call from a man who said he was a defense attorney. It seemed that her granddaughter Katie (Rich's niece) had gotten into a car crash while in Montreal attending a wedding. While the crash was the other party's fault, Katie was in jail because she had alcohol on her breath. Could Bub go to WalMart and wire bail money to Quebec? It was something like $2,356 for one charge, and $1,582 for another charge. He then put Katie on the phone with Bub. The connection was terrible – she could barely understand Katie. She was crying, distraught, so sorry this happened, practically hysterical.

Bub thought something about all this stunk. So she called the police, who came over and when she started to tell him the story, and he interrupted her, "Oh, another one. You're the fourth one so far in the Colony (the complex she lives in) alone. Another woman got taken for over $4,000."

Turns out Katie was never in Montreal. Bub had been talking to some stranger, apparently a very good actress. The scammers must have gotten Katie's name from public records. You see, Katie has been in some trouble with the law in the past. And Bub has bailed her out of jail before. So it wasn't a huge surprise when an attorney called up to inform Bub that Katie was in trouble again. She was, in fact, just fine and still here in SoCal.

Might want to pass this along to anyone elderly. This is a new one. Watch out.

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Beware the Periodontist…

I've been pulling a lot of extra shifts at the lake recently.  A co-worker, Arlene, let her dentist talk her into gum surgery. This is an extremely healthy woman.  Works out all the time, eats right, her teeth look perfect.  The rest of us all seriously doubt she really needed it.  Anyway, they do one side at a time.  She got the first side done maybe 2-1/2 weeks ago, and she's already been sick twice, and this time it's serious.  She went to the ER on Sunday (7/4) when her tongue started turning black.  Turns out she has a viral infection and a bacterial infection.  BTW, the dentist didn't see fit to give her any antibiotics.  She should have been on them from the day before the surgery.  My boss there was talking on the phone to Arlene's husband, and he just went on and on about how great their dentist is supposed to be, and oh well yeah maybe we should ask about antibiotics, and no I've never heard that gum infections can cause heart failure…  She's scheduled for the other side next Tuesday the 12th.  He is actually okay with her going.  Boss kept trying to tell him that no doctor worth his salt would touch a patient with a raging infection, especially one he was responsible for!

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