Today it’s another fightfraudamerica.com case file. What sets this story apart is that it’s true. Startlingly so. The other thing that is startling is that it is not unique. Indeed, Albert and others like him live all across America. Maybe even in Pahrump.
The call came in to the Fight Fraud America line from one of Al’s children. He had two daughters and a son, both grown and with families of their own. All three were terrified for their father.
Al had been married for 61 years when he lost Dorothy to a combination of old age and cancer. He’d worked all those years in a government job, had a healthy savings, a 401K, a pension, a fine collection of art and a $3-million-dollar home in the Hollywood Hills. Dorothy’s last month had been spent at home, per her wishes, and a Hospice worker (Anna) was employed around the clock. Then the fateful day arrived, Dorothy passed away and Anna’s job was over.
Or was it? Eight days later, when Al returned to his now empty home, Anna — who was barely more than half of Al’s age — knocked at the door to allegedly pick up Anna’s pain medication and narcotics to dispose of them. (Not her job, by the way.)
She struck up a conversation with Al, telling him how wonderful of a husband he’d been to Dorothy and how she’d always prayed to find a man just like him as her own marriage was miserable. Al, both suffering from the shock of losing Dorothy and alone for the first time in six decades, cried on Anna’s shoulder. The crying session, led by Dorothy, ended in the bedroom and by day seven Anna had moved into the mansion as Al’s caregiver — and more.
Having had other run-ins with this exact team (caregivers who want, in reality, an express ticket to rich and OLD spouses so they can go from illegal to legal with a tip of the “I Do” hat,” we did an immediate “victim intervention approach; one that reduced Al to tears by the harsh reality of his situation. There is no joy in witnessing a lonely man begin sobbing — when we showed him three other files from the same hospice agency. The only difference was those three men had all died within eight months of the sham marriage.
Yes, people will do that to other people, especially the vulnerable and the lonely. Do these victimizers search for CASH? No, they search for lonely widows and widowers who need to re-establish a connection — at any cost at all.
An asset search, a thorough background check, an accurate accounting, a team of well-trained professionals and a supportive family can be sufficient. The game played is “divide, conquer, steal” and it’s well-defined. Crimes against the elderly can be serious and in some cases deadly serious. Al is still alive, thankfully, but how many more Al’s are out there?
Love, real love, is a commitment not a convenience to get a green card or a convenient get-rich-quick scheme If you encounter a similar situation, alert an Elder Abuse Agency.
Drop by the Pahrump Valley Times offices, 2160 E. Calvada Blvd., for a copy of Leslie Kim’s latest book “123 Main Street … the Scamming of America.” Only $19.95 while supplies last.