2 charged with financial exploitation of Mt. Prospect woman
Mount Prospect police charged a married couple with financial exploitation of an elderly person after authorities say they wrote themselves checks on the woman's account.
Richard Bugayon, 40, and Jocelyn Bugayon, 35, of the 1500 block of W. Dempster St., in Mount Prospect, are charged with a class three felony. If convicted, they could face from two to five years in prison. Probation is also an option.
Cook County Judge Jill Cerone Marisie set bail at $30,000 for each defendant and ordered they have no contact with the complaining witness. Marisie also ordered that the couple, who are natives of the Philippines, surrender their passports.
The couple served as caretakers for the 92-year-old woman, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Lesley Gool. During that time, they wrote checks to themselves or to cash from the woman's account, Gool said.
Police said the defendants led the woman to believe she was endorsing checks to various charities. After the victim endorsed the checks, the Bugayons would increase the dollar amount on the checks and make them out to either or their own names, police said in a prepared release.
The defendants then kept the money, which totaled approximately $2,400, police said.
Police began investigating the couple after the woman's nephew called to report a substantial reduction in the funds in his aunt's checking account.
The couple have no criminal background. They next appear in court on Jan. 13.
Police said the case points up the importance of restricting access to personal information, and the need for people to pay close attention to friends and family who may not have the ability to manage their own financial affairs or simply are too trusting and prone to be victimized in this manner.