TAMPA, Fla. – A lawsuit from a Seminole Heights elderly woman against her live-in caregiver describes an alleged scenario of how an opportunist exploited a legally vulnerable adult.
John Carpenter was hired by Nancy Isereau, property owner and resident of 6004 North Orange Blossom Trail in Tampa to provide caregiver services for her, including dispensing medications, running errands, housekeeping, and providing transportation. In return, Isereau provided Carpenter with free room and board, use of her car, and access to her debit cards for shopping and errand expenses. Suffering from progressive memory loss and resulting confusion, as well as advancing physical weakness, she legally met the definition of a “vulnerable adult,” according to Florida Statute 415.102(27). Eventually, she was evaluated by The Bristol at Tampa Rehabilitation and Nursing Home as in need of assisted living community assistance. A hospital social worker communicated with Carpenter regarding the recommendation and Isereau agreed to move out of her house and take up residence at The Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center of Tampa. This decision occurred during November 2017.
However, six months earlier in May of that year, Carpenter approached Isereau and convinced her that she should bequeath her home to him, effective upon her death. But Isereau unwittingly signed a quit-claim deed which made Carpenter an immediate co-owner of Isereau’s house. Once she relocated to the assisted living community, Carpenter cut off all assistance to her, refused to return her to her home, and put the home’s utilities in his name. Isereau’s requests to Carpenter that he convey his interest in the home back to her were ignored. Eventually, he abandoned living in the house but allowed four other people to move in who then engaged in illegal activities, including alleged drug use, drug trading, and an illegitimate car repair business. Carpenter also took $600 out of Isereau’s bank account, abusing his privileges with her debit card. Isereau’s Power of Attorney was able to remove the residents and change the locks to protect the property.
The lawsuit slaps Carpenter with four counts, including “undue influence,” “conversion,” “exploitation of vulnerable adult” and “theft or exploitation from elderly persons.”
Isereau’s attorneys are Edmund J. Gegan and Rashida L. Willhoit of Gegan Law Firm, Tampa. The Free Press issued several pertinent questions to the attorneys with a response from Gegan that “Ms. Isereau was a ‘vulnerable adult’ during the entirety of any alleged caretaker relationship with Mr. Carpenter,” confirming she was vulnerable from the very beginning of the relationship. Asked why Ms. Isereau waited three years to file a legal complaint against Carpenter, Mr. Gegan said, “Ms. Isereau was under the belief that Mr. Carpenter had taken advantage of her for quite some time, but declined to take legal action at the time.” Gegan also indicated that no rents were paid while other residents occupied her house.
An effort to get Carpenter’s side of the story was made, but he could not be reached.