A mother and daughter were arrested on suspicion they exploited senior citizens, stealing their money and property to the tune of millions of shekels. Police said several of their victims ended up begging on the streets for food and money.
In on case which especially shocked detectives, an old man was forced to sign his apartment over to them; he eventually admitted himself into a psychiatric hospital to escape them. The two were arrested at the end of an undercover investigation by the Central Unit of the Tel Aviv District Police under Commander Gadi Eshel. On Thursday they appeared before a judge at the Tel Aviv District Court for a remand hearing.
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The investigation spanned three months and was conducted by a team under the command of Superintendent Moshe Avital, who collected testimonies from five people, in addition to a number of professionals, including social workers and bank clerks.
Arrests began with the daughter, 28, who was employed as a caretaker to an elderly woman. In the course of the investigation it was revealed that her mother, 54, was also involved in the incidents.
The two would “spot” victims suited for their plan – elderly, alone, in need of nursing care and eligible for insurance benefits. In several instances, their victims were Holocaust survivors who received government stipends.
Their method of action: the mother-daughter team would contact victims and introduce themselves as nursing caretakers. They forced one of the elderly men in their care to put his apartment in their names, and then sold it.
They took another old woman under their care to the bank several times, and forced her to withdraw hundreds of thousands of shekels. A third victim was made to transfer NIS 80,000 to them, in addition to diamonds valued at tens of thousands of shekels.
Other victims were forced to empty their retirement funds and transfer the money to the women's accounts. During the investigation, testimony was given by bank clerks who tried to dissuade the victims from doing so, but to no avail.
“They used fear and threats against the victims, who tried in every way they knew to break free of them,” said police Chief Superintendent Nisim Daudi.
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