Prosecutors charge caregiver with theft of elderly patient’s Miami condo

Dahamara Cuervo Alonso allegedly illegally transferred a Little Havana unit valued at $150K to herself

A home health care provider was charged with theft of her patient’s Miami condo unit, marking at least the second such case in South Florida in the last four months. 

In the latest alleged scheme, caregiver Dahamara Cuervo Alonso exploited her patient’s lack of English proficiency to get her to sign a quit claim deed and unknowingly transfer her Little Havana condo to Cuervo Alonso, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. 

Prosecutors charged Cuervo Alonso with one count each of theft of over $100,000; exploitation of the elderly; and organized scheme to defraud of over $50,000. Cuervo Alonso, 48, is scheduled for an arraignment on April 30. The Real Deal could not reach her for comment. 

The alleged scheme unfolded over the past two years. In late 2022, Cuervo Alonso was assigned as the home care aide to an 86-year-old woman with an advanced cognitive medical condition, and to her 51-year-old son with a condition that limits his mobility, according to the state attorney’s office’s news release. The mother and son, who live together, needed aid in their daily activities, and neither could speak or read English. 

Cuervo Alonso communicated with her patients in Spanish and routinely had them sign paperwork written in English, explaining that the documents were needed for her to “get paid” for her work, according to a state attorney investigator’s affidavit in support of the warrant. After the son saw a YouTube video last August about a property theft through a fraudulent quit claim deed and looked up ownership information for his and his mother’s condo, he saw the home had been transferred to Cuervo Alonso last April. 

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The mother and son had purchased the one-bedroom, 700-square-foot unit at the Terrace Condo building at 1051 Southwest First Street in 2000 for $44,000, according to property records. They owned it unencumbered after paying off the mortgage in 2004. The quit claim deed, written in English, shows the mother’s and Cuervo Alonso’s signatures. 

The property is now valued at about $150,000, the affidavit says. 

Cuervo Alonso “used her position of trust and confidence as caregiver, as well as the victim’s lack of English proficiency to take advantage of the victim and fraudulently induce” her to unintentionally sign the deed, according to the affidavit signed by a Miami-Dade State Attorney’s 

Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Unit detective. 

The charges come on the heels of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office charging another caregiver with theft of her patient’s two Miami properties through fraudulent quit claim deeds doctored to include her patient’s signature. Caregiver Gladys Smith also allegedly induced her patient to sign a power of attorney document that aided in the alleged real estate theft. The properties were a two-bedroom condo at 2496 Southwest 17th Avenue in the Silver Bluff neighborhood and a two-story, two-unit apartment building at 2340 and 2342 Northwest 15th Street in Allapattah