More Victims Discovered in Local Assisted Living Scheme

boarding home
A boarding home operated by Regla “Su” Becquer | Image by WFAA

Tarrant County authorities have put the death toll of an alleged assisted living scheme at around 13, with more victims’ families coming forward of late.

An investigation by the Arlington Police Department (APD) into allegations of abuse, fraud, and theft at five unlicensed community living homes has now expanded to include state authorities. Adult Protective Services (APS) is now involved in the case, the details of which are confidential.

Nonetheless, around 13 people are believed to have died while in the care of three homes in Arlington, one in Mansfield, and another in Grand Prairie, all run by Love and Caring for People LLC.

As previously covered in The Dallas Express, the owner of the business, 49-year-old Regla “Su” Becquer, was arrested in February on one count of abandoning/endangering an individual in imminent danger of bodily injury. The charges stem from just one victim’s alleged confinement against her will and abuse, as the arrest warrant explained, per CBS News Texas.

The victim in question — a patient with cerebral palsy and diabetes — had sought help from a friend in December. She later told investigators that she had been kept on a mattress on the floor, where she was often left for days in a soiled diaper. She also claimed that the staff at the home kicked her, poured hot water on her, and fed her a minty liquid medication that had not been prescribed by her doctors.

Becquer may face more charges as investigators look into further claims involving other victims, such as allegations that she used residents’ debit cards and stole their personal information to falsify wills and credit card applications. More people may also be arrested in connection to the alleged scheme, according to APD, per WFAA.

Some victims’ families have gone public, declaring that their relatives had been healthy before entering the homes operated by Love and Caring for People and yet ended up dying.

“The last time I talked to him, he was telling me, ‘I just don’t like this one at all. I’ve got to find a better place,’” an Arkansas woman named Neva Briscoe told WFAA, recalling the last words of her ex-husband, Phillip Johnson. The 71-year-old died while staying at the Mansfield location last September, yet his loved ones only learned of his death after they involved the authorities.

While Briscoe noted that Johnson had started to show signs of cognitive decline prior to being admitted to the facility, she said she noticed a marked decline shortly thereafter.

“He was starting to not make a lot of sense,” she said. “His voice wasn’t as clear. He was clearing his throat a lot.”

“The best outcome would be for everybody to learn what [Becquer] was about and make sure she never hurts anybody like that again,” she added.

APD has set up a tipline so that anyone with information about the case can leave a voice message by calling 817-575-3230.

Tenants of assisted living facilities are “perfect victims” for criminals, according to APD, since they are separated from their loved ones and often have disabilities.

Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has experienced elder abuse, which is intentional or neglectful harm done by a caretaker. This harm can be physical, emotional, as well as financial, with the latter being the most prevalent.

In Dallas, 319 confidence and false pretense schemes and swindles have been logged this year in the City’s crime analytics dashboard as of March 18. Council Member Omar Narvaez’s District 6 has seen the most reports, followed by Jesse Moreno’s District 2 and Paul Ridley’s District 14.

Despite struggling to address crime amid a longstanding staffing shortage, DPD was given a budget of just $645 million this fiscal year, with City leaders opting to spend far less than other high-crime municipalities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, on policing.

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