Justice Lags for Dementia Patient Whose Life Savings Were Stolen by Nursing Home Staff

Although it has been nearly one year since Levin & Perconti attorneys, Steven Levin and Mike Bonamarte joined Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert to represent Grace Watanabe in a nursing home financial abuse case, criminal charges against the guilty parties have yet to be set.

Watanabe is a 98-year-old nursing home resident with dementia who had her life savings, in the tune of $700,000, taken from her by staff while residing at Symphony of Lincoln Park.

Golbert, Levin and Bonamarte have been involved in the legal battle since filing the civil lawsuit against the six former Symphony employees in September. Now, the attorneys are wondering why Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has yet to file criminal charges against the wrongdoers? Golbert was working with the Chicago police and released all evidence about Watanabe’s case months ago.

“I’m very disappointed that I have heard nothing from the state’s attorney’s office about bringing these individuals who stole money from somebody with dementia to justice,” said Golbert in a June 26, 2019 interview with CBS Chicago.

Steve Levin, Founder and Senior Partner of Levin & Perconti and pioneer in the area of nursing home abuse and neglect then voiced his concerns about the accused, including the facility’s director in pleading the fifth, “Who’s investigating what happened if the executive director is taking the Fifth Amendment? Who’s investigating the facility’s point of view?”

Any type of stealing or misappropriation is not only immoral; it typically creates a trail of criminal behavior involving additional financially exploited nursing home residents. The delay in charging these wrongdoers as criminals also sends validation to other nursing home workers that it is OK to steal from vulnerable residents.

1 in 5 Residents Are Victims of Financial Abuse

Identifying financial abuse in a nursing home can be a difficult task even though it has been estimated by the National Council on Aging that nearly 20 percent of nursing home residents are victims of it. And numbers are likely much higher for residents who suffer from memory disorders such as dementia like Grace Watanabe. These patients are often most susceptible to the exploitation or mismanagement of their personal funds by nursing home staff (or family members) because of their very trusting yet sadly, unknowing behaviors.

Legal Support for Nursing Home Residents Who Have Been Financially Abused

The Illinois nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti can help if the personal finances of a loved one or patient have been mishandled during a stay at a Symphony Post-Acute Network facility or any other Illinois nursing home.

Levin & Perconti is one of the most widely-known and respected nursing home abuse and neglect law firms in Illinois, achieving multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements for individuals and families who have been impacted by all types of nursing home abuse, malpractice, or neglect.

Our consultations are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.

Also read: 10 Ways Banks Can Help Prevent Elder Financial Exploitation