Elfriede Lippa is an elderly 91 year old woman living in Victoria that lost everything due to compulsive gambling. After running through an enormous retirement fund of $300,000 by remortgaging her already paid off condo, she managed to accumulate a significant amount of debt in a short period of time. The son and daughter of Mrs. Lippa said that they had no idea until it was too late to assist their mother with her gambling addiction.
She has now been deemed as mentally incompetent, Elfriede Lippa has been moved into a retirement home that will provide care for her. She is currently staying at the Oak Bay Lodge, in which time her children Tom Lippa and Sue Yakubowich are working to figure out the four liens that she has registered so that they can sell the condo to help repay the losses.
Originating out of Germany, Elfriedge moved up to Canada with her husband back in 1954. They had settled in Manitoba after first moving to the country before relocating to Victoria in 1965. Her husband George had worked as a television repairman while she was a waitress as well as a manager at the local Coffee House that is located in the Mayfair shopping centre. She had previously worked at Paul’s Motor Inn before switching jobs. She was well known for her love of bowling.
Her husband passed away back in 1997. After about seven years had gone by since her husband died, Elfriede finally sold their home and moved on to live in a comfortable condo for retirement. She no longer had a mortgage payment and was sitting on a comfortable $100,000.
All of this fell apart as she amassed a large amount of debt by gambling over at the View Royal Casino. She had spent last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day gambling at the casino before heading over to spend time with her family, who gave her money that she then took back to the casino to play with.
She has now lost her savings and has two mortgages to pay off. She owes a lot of money to Home Equity Bank, which was the bank that had set up the reverse mortgage for her back in 2010 for a value of $200,000. She also took out another private loan from a separate company for $40,000.
“My mom lost her savings, her home, her health, her independence and damaged her most precious relationships as a result of a gambling addiction,” her daughter Sue Yakubowich told reporters. “She purposely hid her gambling problem and hid it very well.”
Yakubowich had originally discovered their mom’s issue after she had been left in charge of her mother’s bills when she was hospitalized. She was shocked to realize that her mother had owed over $300,000 and had received a hint at the problem when going through the mail and finding promotions to the View Royal Casino. A friend of Elfriede had informed Yakubowich that her mother had been gambling and hiding it for quite awhile and had even won huge amounts on several occasions.