An 84-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is out of a home and life savings after, authorities say, he was preyed upon by a funeral worker who took advantage of him following his wife’s passing, CBS Miami reports.
Authorities say 57-year-old Maribel Torres is the woman who took it all away.
“In this case, Ms. Torres took advantage of an 84-year-old man at one of the weakest points – it was just the day after his wife had passed,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told the station, adding that she worries there may be other victims.
It all started back in August 2019 when the victim met Torres while he was making funeral arrangements.
“She could see that he was obviously not himself, on a whole bunch of different levels, and she began to befriend him,” Rundle explained.
Torres reportedly told the victim she knew him. Their new relationship opened the door for Torres to not only file paperwork to take his home but take out business loans under a corporation she created, using the victim’s residence. She collected more than $400,000.
Rundle said it came to light when “a good nephew who went back to check up on his uncle.”
The nephew discovered Torres and her son had moved into the victim’s home, which he reported to the authorities.
“His home has technically been sold and borrowed against,” Rundle told CBS4.
It will be nearly impossible to get the house back, CBS Miami points out.
Torres is facing three felony charges, including elderly exploitation and grand theft. She’s out on bond.
Meanwhile, the victim’s health has gotten worse.
“I understand now he is at the highest level of Alzheimer’s so now the issue is to find him a safe space, safe haven,” Rundle said.