This Chicago native’s story serves as a reminder that not all financial advisers may be looking out for your best interest.
NBC Chicago reports that Priscilla Eddings, who has dementia, was allegedly tricked out of over $400,000 across two years by Helen Caldwell, her Citibank financial adviser.
The money taken allegedly went to Caldwell’s film production company, Canal Productions. The total amount of $400,500 is said to be nearly equal to half of Eddings’ savings and estate, the lawsuit filed by Public Guardian Charles Golbert claims.
According to a filed lawsuit by the Cook County public guardian’s office, the 76-year-old initially met Caldwell back in 2017.
It is said that since Eddings didn’t have the cognitive capacity during that time, she signed the checks to Caldwell’s company. The money was for Eddings to live off of until her passing.
“She moves into assisted living and all of the sudden large checks start getting made payable to Canal Productions, checks running as high as $75,000,” Golbert said, per the outlet.
“It’s outrageous,” he continued. “[Caldwell] had a fiduciary duty to Ms. Eddings, who did not receive any benefit whatsoever from the checks she wrote to Canal Productions. And where’s the oversight by her employer at the time, Citibank?”
Caldwell’s scheme was uncovered after Eddings’ granddaughter wanted legal guardianship over her. Then, a court-appointed investigator became involved, looking into Eddings’ finances.
The outlet details that guardianship was granted to Golbert, whose lawsuit requested for the court “to force Caldwell and Citibank to hand over all information regarding Eddings’ assets.”
As Eddings tirelessly worked as a certified nursing assistant prior to retiring, Golbert is on a mission to help Eddings recover the money she claims she’s owed.
“That’s a hard job and a giving job, and this is what happened to her after taking care of others during her working life and by someone she was entitled to think she could trust,” he said, according to reports.