A woman who pleaded guilty Friday to stealing more than $500,000 from an elderly man with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will be sentenced to three years of felony probation and is ordered to pay full restitution. Rosemary Baugh, 57, was charged with financial elder abuse and perjury, and faces 11 years and eight months in prison if she doesn’t comply with the terms of her plea deal.
Baugh was arrested November 27 after an investigation by the Santa Barbara Police Department’s Property Crimes Unit discovered she had taken a small fortune from the 80-year-old victim. Baugh became his caretaker following the death of his only local relative in 2011. The two had known each other for many years prior and lived together at one point approximately two decades ago. Once she became his caretaker, however, Baugh used the victim’s money to buy a mobile home, shop online, make multiple purchases per day from QVC and the Home Shopping Network, and pay for psychic services. When out-of-town relatives recently visited the victim, they found him sickly, malnourished, and living in squalor.
As part of her plea deal, Baugh agreed to relinquish ownership of the mobile home — worth approximately $250,000 — back to the victim and his family and vacate it within 30 days. Cota said Baugh had given her daughter $100,000 to purchase property in Texas and that those funds are in the process of being returned as well. Baugh must also provide a full accounting to a civil court attorney of how she spent and gave away the money, Cota said.
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Suspect Strikes Plea Deal in Elder Abuse Case