A Chicago woman suffering from dementia was deceived out of more than $400,000 by her financial advisor, according to NBC Chicago.
A lawsuit filed with the Cook County Probate Court contends that 76-year-old Priscilla Eddings was defrauded by the financial advisor at her bank, beginning in 2017. The lawsuit was filed last month.
Just a few months after Eddings, a retired certified nursing assistant at St. Joseph Hospital, began working with Helen Caldwell, she moved out of her Hyde Park home and into an assisted living facility. The retired CNA also began writing Caldwell large checks made out to the financial advisor’s film company, Canal Productions. The checks totaled $400,500 within a two-year time period. According to Eddings’ Public Guardian, Charles Golbert, the amount equaled half of Eddings’ estate and savings.
“She moves into assisted living and all of the sudden large checks start getting made payable to Canal Productions, checks running as high as $75,000,” said Golbert. “We believe she did not have cognitive capacity at that time.”
“It’s outrageous. Caldwell had a fiduciary duty to Ms. Eddings, who did not receive any benefit whatsoever from the checks she wrote to Canal Productions. And where’s the oversight by her employer at the time?”
He also noted Eddings’ job as a CNA and said she deserved better.
“That’s a hard job and a giving job, and this is what happened to her after taking care of others during her working life, and by someone she was entitled to think she could trust,” he added.
Golbert also said the money was meant to support Eddings throughout her final years as she battles dementia. Caldwell was caught after Eddings’ granddaughter discovered the checks made out to Canal Productions and sought out legal guardianship over her grandmother.
The proceedings prompted a judge to assign a review by a court-appointed investigator. Golbert was granted guardianship, and he filed a lawsuit requesting the court force the bank and Caldwell to provide him with all information pertaining to Eddings’ assets in an attempt to have the money returned.
Eddings’ guardian also said the authorities have been contacted regarding Caldwell, who is no longer employed by the bank.