Deputy Public Guardian Jennifer Empasis pursued a campaign of false allegations and abuse of power to control the assets of Peruvian immigrant Margarita Zelada. Her estate is valued at around $1.5M.
In July 2012, Empasis alleged that Patricia financially abused her mother. Margarita repeatedly insisted Patricia did nothing improper. Patricia provided a full accounting of expenditures. No charges were filed.
In September 2012, Empasis seized control of all assets belonging to Margarita and Patricia. Mother and daughter were left unable to meet their financial obligations. Both experienced severe financial hardship.
On October 5, 2012, the court awarded temporary conservatorship of Margarita’s estate to the Public Guardian.
On December 13, 2012, Margarita recorded a video stating that Patricia did not abuse her in any way. Margarita was emphatic that she did not want the Public Guardian involved in her affairs.
The video was never presented in court. Empasis had full knowledge of the suppressed evidence.
On March 9, 2013, Margarita was forcibly taken from Patricia’s home in Pacific Grove. Patricia and neighbor Tara Robinson said ten police officers stormed the house with guns drawn and leveled at Patricia. Officers acknowledged they had no warrant.
The officers dragged Margarita from her bed, rolled her in a sheet, and strapped her to a gurney. They carried her to an ambulance waiting outside. Robinson said Margarita’s screams were the most horrible sounds she ever heard.
Full Article and Source:
Margarita Zelada: Timeline of Elder Abuse by Monterey County Public Guardian