RCFE Licensees Charged with Elder Abuse
Despite your best efforts to make an informed placement for your loved one or family member, bad things can happen to your resident. The stories below of elder abuse perpetrated, or allegedly perpetrated by owners and employees of RCFEs in our community are convincing proof that you cannot just place your family member, then walk away.
We cannot advocate too strongly for staying involved, visiting your resident frequently, at uncommon times of day, and staying alert to your resident's surroundings. Your job is to advocate for good care, dignified treatment, and the safety of your resident, and you must file a complaint with CCL or law enforcement if you see or suspect elder abuse of any type - to your resident or another. As CARR learns of legal actions taken against RCFE owners, licensees, or employees we will report them to you.
These cases were prosecuted by the State of California Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Medi-cal and Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA). If you know of Medi-cal fraud or elder abuse, you can file a complaint with the DOJ/BMFEA here.
Lopez, Labayen & Liberty Care Homes III
On 11 April 2012, Steve Lopez was sentenced to three years state prision, to be served in local custody, for felony financial elder abuse. The victim, Celia Ballis was a resident at now-defunct Liberty Care Homes III, a small 6-bed residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) located in Escondido. According to sources, the court heard from the victim's son, Brian Ballis, how Lopez overmedicated Ballis' mother, then took advantage of her diminished state to steal approximately $100,000 from her.
Lopez' mother, Mila Labayen, Licensee of the once Liberty Care Homes III facility was charged with two misdemeanors: covering up the financial abuse perpetrated by her son, Steve Lopez and failing to carry Worker's Compensation Insurance on her staff. on 11 April, 2012 she was ordered to serve 3 years summary probation on condition that she violate no laws, may never own or work in any elder care facility, and may not live in an elder care facility unless she is a resident receiving care. She was also required to pay remaining restitution of $2,000 to the Worker's Compensation Fraud Fund.
Raroque & Golden Age Residential
Wilhemina Aquino-Raroque, 62, was booked by San Diego Sheriff's Department on 24 January 2012 on charges including Theft. Raroque, one-time Licensee of three RCFEs [Golden Age Residential, Happiness Villa and Lakeview Residential - all now out of business] surrendered to law enforcement officials on 26 April, 2012, pleading not-guilty to five felony charges including financial elder abuse, grand theft, forgery/false entry in a record, offering forged record, and preparing false evidence. While she was out on bail for those five charges, special allegations were filed alleging Raroque had committed additional crimes; her bail was exonerated, she was remanded into custody, and a new bail was set at $75,000.
CARR will report on further developments as the information becomes available in the public record.
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