By Anna Lothson
A Chicago woman has been charged with conning a 93-year-old disabled widow of a World War II veteran out of her River Forest home and leaving her at a nursing home without any of her belongings, forcing staff to provide her with second-hand clothes from former residents, according to a news release from the Office of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Ausra Rollins, 47, of Chicago, has been charged with one felony count of financial exploitation of the elderly. Rollins was working for the victim as her caretaker when she allegedly tricked her into signing over the deed to her River Forest condominium.
According to prosecutors, the elderly victim, who has vision and hearing impairments, trusted Rollins and relied on her assistance because she was widowed and had no children.
In April 2011, Rollins obtained power of attorney over the victim. Shortly after, she allegedly convinced the victim to sell her condominium to her, according to the release. The defendant proposed that she would pay the victim $5,000 a month until $110,000 was paid. When the victim agreed, Rollins had her sign numerous documents that she claimed were associated with the agreement.
In early 2012, Rollins left the victim at a nursing home in Westchester without any of her personal possessions.
The release states that an investigation found property records showing one of the documents the victim signed was a quit-claim deed that transferred the condo's ownership to Rollins. The defendant fraudulently obtained this quit-claim deed. At the time the deed was filed, the defendant had not paid the victim as agreed and in fact had only made one payment of $5,000.
The victim's vision and hearing impairments resulted in being unaware that the document she signed was a quit-claim deed. Rollins also continued to live in the victim's home after leaving her at the nursing home even though she no longer needed to care for her.
The defendant appeared in bond court today in Maywood where Judge Ramon Ocasio III set a $5,000 cash bond bail. The defendant's next court date is July 26 for a status hearing. Rollins is facing up to 15 years in prison if she is convicted.