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Officials Investigate Palos Verdes Estates Heiress' Big Ticket Donation As Possible Elder Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An elderly, housebound Palos Verdes Estates heiress's large donation to a charity connected to the Kabbalah Centre is being investigated as possible elder abuse.

Susan Strong Davis, an 87-year-old widow, has donated $600,000 to the charity in 2005, plus spent millions of dollars on a four-bedroom home in Beverly Hills, despite her dementia that relatives say leaves her unable to make even the most minor decisions.

"Those with cognitive deficits are vulnerable to be taken advantage of, because they may not have the sharpness of judgment and awareness of, especially their financial matters or being able to physically take care of themselves," Deputy DA Gina Santriano said to KNX 1070's Ron Kilgore.


Davis' longtime money manager, John E. Larkin, is the focus of the probe. According to records, Larkin sold Davis the Beverly Hills property at a $300,000 profit and is overseeing construction on that home.

Larkin was also reportedly instrumental in arranging the donation to the charity connected to the Kabbalah Center, of which he is a member.

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