This is enough to make you never want to get old, ever: an elderly woman in Queens says her home aide, who she had known and trusted for seven years, stole $800,000 from her. The woman also turned 85-year-old Renee Fuld’s apartment into a rent-free boarding house for seven of her friends and relatives. Fuld is bedridden, has no children, and can only get around her apartment with the help of a wheelchair.
The aide, Jackie Pokuwaah, exploited the hell out of Fuld for years and would have continued to get away with it if it hadn’t been for the bank noticing something was up. Namely, stuff like checks with “laundry” in the memo line for $800 that she was bringing in on a consistent basis. She’s being charged with grand larceny and is currently locked up at Rikers Island.
Fuld was basically powerless to do anything:
A psychiatric exam found the victim is cognitively impaired and “presents the opportunity for exploitation,” according to court papers. The criminal complaint says she “did not understand why her bank account balance was decreasing and did not give the defendant permission and authority to take approximately $791,054.”
Pokuwaah handled Fuld’s banking. She would have Fuld write out checks ostensibly for things like food and laundry and tell her how much money was needed, then use them for shopping sprees.
Fuld told the Daily News, “I can’t believe she did this to me. Why would she steal from me? I didn’t pay her a pittance.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 23, 2011