Prosecutors in Illinois say two former home care workers have been charged with financial crime felonies after they allegedly stole more than $700,000 from a 98-year-old woman with dementia.
According to the Cook County State's Attorney's office, the former office manager at Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park, Tameeka Wolfe, and the facility's former activities director, Christina Wright have both been charged with one felony count of financial exploration of an elderly person.
Wolfe and Wright were caught after investigators began looking into allegations that employees at Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park in Chicago, were cashing checks, making ATM withdrawals, and transferring money out of the victim's accounts for a year. At one point, Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert took emergency custody of the victim, who has been identified as Grace Watanabe. She was removed from the facility by the public guardian.
"The two individuals who the state charged today where the highest-ranking employees of Symphony – the business manager and the activities director – who together took about a half million dollars; $500,000," Golbert said. "They were clearly the ringleaders of all this."
Prosecutors say at one point, both women were giving a check for enormous sums, including one made out to Wolfe for $400,000.
“Full justice for Mrs. Watanabe requires that we get the money back from the civil suit, and that criminal justice happens to the perpetrators,” Golbert said.
Bond for Wolfe and Wright was set at $20,000 each. Both women are out on bond, but are being electronically monitored. They've also been barred from any further contact with seniors.