Two California officers are being investigated for basically trying to steal everything from a 75-year-old woman with dementia. Investigators say the duo stole money from the woman, listed her home for sale, and got her a one-way plane ticket to the Philippines, where she had family, and then put her on the plane.
According to Fox News, neighbors and friends on Friday described Rosalie Santallan Achiu as a frail military wife who has seemed lost and afraid since her husband died over a year ago.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department began investigating the deputies in late January, when concerns were raised about Achiu’s welfare because she had no been seen in several days.
“The last time I seen her she was in the back of a cop car,” neighbor Daniel Wootton said.
The sheriff’s department said that with the help of federal investigators, they found her in the Philippines with relatives.
Investigators also found “many unusual activities by both deputies, both on and off duty,” reported Fox News.
Stephanie Angel, a 14-year employee of the department, and an unidentified male deputy were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.
Angel’s attorney, Richard Chan, claims she was only trying to help the woman.
“There wasn’t any financial, elder abuse that occurred. She was assisting this lady and following this lady’s wishes, there’s been absolutely no financial benefit to Deputy Angel whatsoever,” Chan said.
According to court documents, Achiu met the deputies in mid-January during a call for service.
She was quickly moved in to Angel’s home, according to Michael Abrate, an attorney for Achiu’s family.
Over the next few weeks some highly questionable actions were taken by the officers:
Achiu’s house was listed for sale, several withdrawals were made from her bank accounts and one deputy opened a joint bank account with Achiu, Abrate said.
Abrate also said the deputies also accompanied Achiu to her bank to have them drill out the locks on her safe deposit box. They then applied for a passport for Achiu on a website called RushMyPassport.com.
Achiu, who has no relatives in California, “suffers from dementia and lacks the capacity to resist fraud or provide informed consent,” he said.
Neighbor Nyairee Fitzpatrick said Achiu had talked about sending some belongings to relatives in the Philippines, and she wanted to live with a brother in Washington state.
“The cop came … and like emptied out her whole house,” Fitzpatrick recalled, standing outside Achiu’s vacant home with discarded furniture stacked in the driveway.
The deputies were granted power of attorney and named agents on her living will on Jan. 30.
Then one of the deputies bought a one-way plane ticket to the Philippines for Achiu, and she arrived Feb, 3.
Investigarots found her on Feb. 14, and she wanted to return to the U.S.
She has been at a hospital since Feb. 21, when she returned to California, her family’s attorney said.