A caretaker and her partner have been arrested in Miami-Dade for allegedly financially exploiting a blind, elderly woman with dementia, prosecutors said.
Evelyn Dinora Lopez De Ramirez De Hernandez and Yuri Hernandez, both 45, allegedly gained access to the victim’s finances and stole about $130,000 from her, according to the office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
“This poor woman needed care and assistance, which is why she hired De Ramirez De Hernandez,” Fernandez Rundle said. “But what she allegedly received was an apathetic concern about her daily physical needs and a greedy hand rummaging through the finances intended to provide for her care. These issues are what make crimes against our disabled and our elder residents so troubling.”
Ramirez De Hernandez is charged with one count of exploitation of elderly/disabled over $100,000, one count of theft from elderly over $50,000 and one count of organized fraud over $50,000.
Hernandez is charged with one count of theft from elderly over $50,000, one count of organized fraud over $50,000 and one count of conspiracy to commit organized fraud over $50,000.
The arrests occurred after relatives of the victim in North Carolina received a call from the victim’s investment advisor, notifying them of an odd telephone call he received from the victim asking to withdraw $40,000.
During the call, the investment advisor, who had not spoken to the victim in two years, could hear a woman’s voice in the background telling the victim what to say, the State Attorney’s office said.
The investment advisor found the call strange and instructed the victim to come to the office personally.
Three days later, Ramirez De Hernandez returned without the victim and presented a power of attorney letter and wanted to withdraw funds from the victim’s account. The advisor notified the caretaker that the victim had to come in person after questioning the validity of the document.
That’s when the advisor contacted the victim’s family in North Carolina.
Julia Rodriguez, the victim's legal guardian, came to Miami, where found the victim awake but disoriented and covered in urine and feces.
"We found absolutely nothing to eat in that house," Rodriguez told NBC 6. "Not a cracker, no milk, no orange juice — nothing."
"She was very soiled, very dirty, unkempt," she said.
After the victim's relative called for an ambulance, a woman arrived at the home and said that she had been hired by Ramirez de Hernandez to go by the home once a day.
The State Attorney’s office said the investigation revealed extensive financial activity within the victim’s accounts with money allegedly going from Ramirez De Hernandez into accounts controlled by Hernandez.