BOSTON (WHDH) - A multi-agency investigation has led to a personal care assistant being charged with defrauding a 95-year-old woman of about $150,000 by stealing from her bank account, collecting rent money intended for the victim, and taking out a reverse mortgage on her home, resulting in foreclosure, Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden announced.
Dominique Emanuel, 41, of Brockton, is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 22 in Dorchester Boston Municipal Court on one count of medical assistance fraud by provider and larceny over $1,200 by single scheme.
Hayden credited the Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the investigation leading to the charges.
“The stunning breadth of this scheme illustrates the trust and authority given to this woman and how she abused that trust and authority to fill her own pockets. It’s something we’ve seen far too often, and it’s a clear signal to older adults and their families to be ever vigilant when money and services are involved,” Hayden said.
In February 2023, Boston police received a report from a woman stating her 95-year-old mother’s personal care assistant, later identified as Emmanuel, had been stealing from her.
The victim told police Emmanuel had been her PCA for several years after meeting her at the Santander Bank in Mattapan where Emmanuel worked as a bank teller.
A review of the victim’s will led to the discovery that Emmanuel was listed as an alternate executor of the will. The victim’s daughter then discovered her mother’s Mattapan home was in foreclosure due to a reverse mortgage of which the victim and family members had no knowledge.
They also learned that approximately $120,000 was withdrawn from the victim’s Santander Bank account, which included $70,000 made payable to a construction company for work that was never done.
Additionally, Emmanuel was tasked with collecting rent in the amount of $1,800 from the first-floor tenant of the home. The tenant told investigators he had entered a rental agreement from March 2021 and he had paid the person known to him as Dominique $3,600 cash for the first and last month’s rent and $1,800 cash every month thereafter until December 2022, totaling over $30,000 in payments.
The victim never received these payments. Investigators were able to corroborate numerous cash deposits into Emmanuel’s Santander account during that timeframe.
A review of Emmanuel’s employment records from Tempus Unlimited, a personal care attendant program, showed that she had been paid for hours of work she did not perform, including days she was out of state. Records showed that she billed Tempus for hours while the victim was either being treated at a long-term care or an inpatient care facility and would not require the assistance of a PCA at home. The total Medicaid fraud loss is approximately $3,763.60.
With financial exploitation and abuse on the rise, District Attorney Hayden recently launched the Suffolk County Fraud Fighters, a multi-agency effort to help residents, particularly older adults, recognize common scams and signs of financial fraud.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), compared to anonymous scammers, older adults typically suffer greater financial losses when they know the perpetrator.
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