Sep 26, 2019

Nurse Banned After Convincing Resident To Sign Over His $1.5m Estate To Her

After years of living alone in the Victorian suburb of Fitzroy along with the assistance of neighbours and a case manager from the Brotherhood of St Laurence, 92-year-old Lionel Cox entered residential aged care in July 2015.

It is here where Mr. Cox met a nurse by the name of Abha Kumar, who was present when staff were told that Mr. Cox had no known family, and that he owned his own home and had not made a will.

Within days of arriving at the Cambridge house facility, Kumar brought Mr. Cox a will-kit and managed to coerce him into completing a hand-written will that made her the sole beneficiary to his $1.5 million estate. 

A few weeks later, Kumar took Mr. Cox to his Fitzroy home via taxi to collect some belongings that included $4500 cash, which Kumar kept in her purse.

Sadly, only weeks after arriving at the Cambridge House aged care facility, Mr. Cox passed away from natural causes, giving Kumar the legal rights to his home along with a number of other assets. 

Probate to Mr. Cox’s will was not challenged, and 15 months after his death, Mr. Cox’s ex-nurse went on to sell his Fitzroy home for $1.117 million as well as various other items valued at $39,000.

And yes, she still has the money. 

According to The Age, this matter went to a hearing in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in July this year where Kumar admitted to three allegations made against her by the Nursing and Midwifery Board.

Earlier this week, orders were handed down and Kumar was banned from being a registered health practitioner and from working or volunteering in any sort of aged care capacity for five years for engaging in professional misconduct and forcing staff to aide her.   

Tribunal members Elisabeth Wentworth, Mary Archibald, and Pamela Barry slammed Kumar as a “deeply flawed character” who “lacks trustworthiness and integrity” and is a risk to the public.

Although Kumar did suggest that she wanted to donate her ill-gotten fortune to charity, she admitted during the hearing that the money would now be used to cover her legal costs.

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  1. No wonder predators are alive and well when a five year workplace ban is the price one pays for defrauding a elderly & vulnerable old gentleman. Do you think this creature worries about work with a $1.5m payday?

    I believe a law should immediately be legislated by statute that when a person dies intestate, without any immediate or close family, then the full proceeds of the estate should be paid into a Special Charity Fund. That fund would then dispense the money to a variety of bona fide charities.

    This poor gentleman did have a Will (created by the fraudster) and there was enough evidence to say that she was. In cases such as this, the Special Charity Fund should be able to legally challenge the fraudster for the proceeds of the estate.

  2. I’m appalled that this woman was only banned from nursing for five years and that she managed to keep the money from taking advantage of someone in her ‘care’. Where’s the deterrent for others following suit?

  3. This story is heartbreaking and sends a clear message on how vital action is needed to prevent financial elder abuse . I urge everybody to get on board the Australian Banking Association and Bauer Media National Campaign to “ Stop Elder Financial Abuse “. The media Campaign was launched on August 7th and will be launched at Parliament House in Canberra on 17th October.
    What the Campaign is about :- The Australian Banking Association (ABA) is teaming up with Bauer Media to expand its campaign to tackle elder financial abuse.

    Financial abuse of the elderly is fast becoming one of Australia’s most serious social issues.

    New YouGov research to be released on August 7 reveals almost 60 per cent of Australians are worried that someone they know will be the victim of this insidious abuse. The research also reveals that almost 9 in every 10 Australians want their governments to do more to tackle the issue.

    A POA ensures vulnerable adults have nominated someone they trust to look after their finances if they can’t do it themselves

    But this simple piece of paper can become a licence to steal if not used properly (if people who act as Attorney’s don’t understand their obligations and responsibilities and we don’t have a system in place to register POAs).

    We are committed to stopping the financial abuse of elderly Australians, which can be at the hands of a family member, and we ask you to join our fight.

    What are we campaigning for:

    Power or Attorney laws which are the same across the country and protect people from this kind of abuse.
    A National Power of Attorney (POA) register to check if POA documents are legitimate.
    Somewhere to report abuse in each state that can investigate and act.
    How to get involved:

    Ensure your older family members have a trusted P.O.A to protect their assets in the future. Speak to a solicitor or find out more at financiallyfitfemales.com.au
    Share your story. If you know a person who has experienced financial abuse, contact us at mystory@bauer-media.com.au (all stories will be treated with the strictest confidence)
    Sign our petition to change the laws at ausbanking.org.au/elderabuse

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