Florida caretaker accused of stealing 93-year-old Holocaust survivor's life savings: 'They have been stripped of everything'
A Florida caretaker was arrested last week after allegedly stealing over $100,000 from an elderly Holocaust survivor and her husband over the span of eight years.
Odalis Lopez, 56, was taken into custody on Aug. 2 and charged with theft from an elderly person and financial exploitation, WTVJ reports.
The caretaker had been employed by Rella Herman, a 93-year-old who lost her mother at Auschwitz, and her 91-year-old husband, Leonard, according to a GoFundMe page started to help the couple recover their savings.
"Beginning as early as 2011, her caretaker started exploiting her fragile condition by stealing small amounts of money," Rella's grandson, Micah Herman, wrote on the fundraiser.
"Then in 2015, Rella's only son passed away from cancer," he continued. "The caretaker seized upon Rella's fresh grief and began making exorbitant fraudulent charges with Rella's credit cards that she unknowingly paid off, effectively stripping her of retirement funds, much of which came from Holocaust reparation checks from the German government. Florida state forensic investigators estimate the theft to be over $100,000.00."
According to an arrest warrant obtained by WTVJ, Lopez used Rella's credit cards to go on shopping sprees and cover meals at pricey restaurants instead of paying for the elder couple's groceries and prescriptions like she was supposed to.
Photo: Miami-Dade County jail
"It was disgusting. She started [spending] just exorbitant amounts of money," the pair's grandson told WSVN. "They have been stripped of everything."
Lopez was booked into Miami-Dade County jail and later released on bond. Her next court date is reportedly set for Sept. 3.
Still, the elderly couple has been "left reeling," according to their grandson, and "can't afford even the most basic home care."
"Any help you can provide will go a long way towards providing them stability in the twilight of their lives," he wrote on GoFundMe.