HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A tree-trimming business is under investigation after one man said the company took advantage of his elderly mother.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, it is not easy for Marilyn Mola to get around anymore, so she was all smiles after going out to celebrate her 92nd birthday with her niece.
But memories both good and bad are drifting.
“What do I remember?” Mola said. Not too much because I have problems with memory.
Mola suffers from dementia. She lives in her Huntington Station home with her son, Jimmy Nola, who alleges the upstate tree trimming company American Arborist Tree Experts took advantage of his mother while he was at work.
Mola said a couple of men driving a white van convinced the elderly woman to sign a contract to trim the trees in their front yard. They were waiting to get paid when he got home.
“(They said), ‘You need to give us $200.’ I said, ‘I’m not giving you anything. I didn’t authorize this. I didn’t authorize you to do any work,’” Jimmy Mola said. “(They said), ‘Well, the lady inside did. I said: ‘The lady inside is 92 years old. She’s, you know, got dementia. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.’”
Neighbor Matt Hoffman said he saw the workers return the following day, dumping branches from what appeared to be another job on Mola’s driveway. He said he told them to leave and called police.
“Once I said ‘the police,’ and the police had their license plate number, they couldn’t get out of here fast enough,” Hoffman said.
CBS2 called the company owner Sunday night, who told CBS2 he did nothing wrong. Sanchez said the woman is 92 years old with dementia and cannot even remember what she had for dinner that night.
“But how do we know that?” the owner said. “I have a signed contract.”
Jimmy Mola said he is worried the men could take advantage of other elderly people, or will return to his home again while his mother is alone.
“Now I don’t even answer the door answer the telephone,” Marilyn Mola said.
Nassau County police said they did find the tree trimming workers, who told them they dumped these branches after they didn’t get paid.
Police said the men were not facing any charges as of late Sunday.
Late Sunday night, the owner of American Arborist Tree experts told CBS2 he is the victim in this case, for doing work on the property and not getting paid.