Leilani Luahiwa stands accused of swindling her own elderly mother out of house and home.
Luahiwa was in a Victorville courtroom where the judge entered a not guilty plea on the woman's behalf and appointed her a public defender.
The 52-year-old caregiver is charged with theft and elder abuse, both felonies. She is being held on $100,000 bail.
"The elder abuse would cover all aspects of that. It could be physical, emotional, and in this case it's financial crime," said the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's Susan Rose.
The suspect's son, who did not want to speak on camera, says his mother is being falsely accused.
Investigators say the elderly often fall victim to financial abuse either because of health-related issues or because of their lack of knowledge about financial matters. They advise the elderly to look over any documents before signing them.
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Woman Accused of Stealing Elderly Mom's Home