A Wilmington, NC woman has pleaded guilty to elder abuse in a case that shocked prosecutors who routinely investigate and try these kinds of cases.
40-year-old Christy Paffenroth Ferguson met 80-year-old Tony Ferguson while she worked at an adult day-care facility. After Ferguson’s wife of 40 years died of cancer, their daughter hired the woman as his live-in caregiver.
Paffenroth was paid $1,100 a month plus room and board for herself and her teenage son in Ferguson’s home for her services.
She moved in as hired help in May of 2012 and married Ferguson in December.
By January of 2013, she had taken over as Ferguson’s power of attorney.
By May of 2013, Paffenroth had taken $120,000 out of Ferguson’s credit union and moved it to a joint checking account. She then took out an $80,000 equity line on his home, which had been bought and paid for.
Prosecutors then allege that she began spending. She had breast augmentation surgery. She paid for herself and her son to get braces. She paid expensive private school tuition for her son and his friend.
Once the bank account was emptied, she began cashing in his savings bonds. By then, Ferguson was broke.
In March of 2014, she sold his house for $90,000, less than half of its worth.
Prior to their marriage, Ferguson was debt free. With no home, he now lives alone in a nursing home.
For her part, Paffenroth says that she loved her husband and enjoyed the financial security that she had with him. She did not intend to blow through the money so quickly.
If you believe that a yourself or a loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse at the hands of a facility or a care-taker, you may be entitled to compensation. Let the attorneys at the law offices of Schenk Smith help you. Call us today.