Jun 18, 2010

Heartless Carer Who Conned 1 Million from Wealthy Widow with Dementia is Jailed for Seven Years

Stories like this one are becoming more common.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

This is just one of many examples that show why children need to be "aware", and why early detection of Alzheimer's is important.

I read several stories this week where people said they wouldn't want to know if they were in an early stage of Alzheimer's or dementia. This shows how ignorant people are about the disease. I doubt they spent any time thinking about how vulnerable you can become when your brain "gets sick."

I admit I am just starting to think about vulnerability in this sense. Someone comes along and steals all your money. Eventually you need serious "in a nursing facility" care. But, your money is gone.

For every crook that gets caught and convicted, how many are getting away with the financial victimization of a persons suffering from Alzheimer's or other types of dementia?

Crooks can read the paper. They will gravitate to the easy money when they can. Expect to see more and more stories about persons suffering from Alzheimer's dementia being victimized.

Now what do you thing about the idea of national memory screening?

Excerpt from the Daily Mail Online

A gang of con artists who fleeced a confused widow out of £1million to fund lavish lifestyles have been jailed for a total of sixteen-and-a half years.

'Cruel' Zandra Mackay was working as a carer for wealthy dementia sufferer Catherine Devas when she plundered the pensioner's savings to virtually nothing in three years.

She and her accomplices used the proceeds to pay for luxuries including a shopping trip to New York and £5,000 worth of hair styling.

Following Mrs Devas's death at the age of 83, it was found the World War Two Wren had been tricked into signing away her flat for a fraction of its true value and changed the beneficiaries of her will.

MacKay, 62, described as the driving force behind the 'vicious, heartless and despicable' fraud, was jailed for seven years at Cambridge Crown Court.

Frail Mrs Devas, described as a fiercely independent intellectual with a love of antiquarian books, moved to a flat in Cambridge in 2003 after several strokes left her partially paralysed.
She was dependent on round-the-clock care by the time of her death in 2006 and had become increasingly confused as her health deteriorated.

During that period the mother of six altered her will and gave up her bank card and cheque book as her mental and physical health deteriorated.

Her secretary Deborah Atkinson, 49, plundered her savings for a total of £216,00 and lavished £5,000 on expensive haircuts at a top London salon.

Other gang members, including Atkinson's mother Beryl Benbow, 78, and Zandra's son Marcus Mackay, 45, spent cash on luxury goods including holidays and mortgage payments.

The gang, described by a judge as 'every family's worst nightmare', also forged Mrs Devas's will and tried to sell her £450,000 flat.

Read more here.

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,565 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room