Elder abuse is on the rise – something Donna LeBoeuf, a Pittsburg resident in the early stages of dementia, knows only too well. Playing a “game” with her caregiver, LeBoeuf unknowingly signed her name several times on pieces of paper, unaware that the innocent act would put her financial future in jeopardy.
As reported Sept. 25 by the Contra Costa Times, LeBoeuf initially was grateful that her caregiver, Mary Genai, helped her with life’s daily tasks. That included watching over LeBoeuf’s finances. LeBoeuf never suspected that her gratefulness might come back to haunt her.
LeBoeuf’s son later discovered that his mother had signed away control of her money and medical decisions, and that Genai, the caregiver, had got away with stealing “thousands of dollars” from LeBoeuf.
Specifically, Genai gained LeBoeuf’s power of attorney, deposited her Social Security checks into her own checking account, named herself the beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy and got control of LeBoeuf’s medical decisions in the event she became incapacitated, according to the Contra Costa article.
Today, Genai faces six felony counts of financial elder abuse. She has pleaded not guilty and is free on $402,000 bail pending an Oct. 4 court date.