An East Palo Alto woman who allegedly got her 96-year-old aunt to sign over her home pleaded not guilty to a charge of elder financial abuse on Friday, Nov. 11, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Shirley Venoya Remmert, 69, lived in her aunt's home and provided care. The aunt was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment in February 2015, and Remmert was notified, according to the DA's office.
Remmert allegedly had her aunt sign a quitclaim deed to the house in June 2015 and recorded the deed in January 2016. She allegedly isolated the aunt from other family members, who notified the aunt’s bank that Remmert might be abusing her. The bank reported the claim to San Mateo County Adult Protective Services, according to the DA's office.
An investigation by the Public Guardian’s Office, Adult Protective Services, and East Palo Alto Police alleged that Remmert withdrew somewhere between $40,000 and $80,000 from her aunt's bank account and had secreted the money in the home without the elder woman's knowledge or permission. The aunt had no idea she signed a quitclaim deed and believed she still owned the house. She thought the paperwork was to guarantee that the house and her other assets would be divided among family members when she passes away, the DA's office said.
The case is set for a pretrial conference on January 31, 2017, and for a jury trial on March 27, 2017. Remmert remains in custody on $100,000 bail, and the court has issued an order requiring the her to prove a legitimate course for funds for release on bail that cannot be from the money allegedly taken from the victim. Remmert is representing herself in court with stand-by defense counsel.