When Financial Predators Strike
Taking Advantage Of Isolation And Cognitive Impairment
Caregivers With Access To The Check Book
Our litigators see a sadly familiar pattern in financial elder abuse cases: an elderly person’s spouse of many years dies and the survivor is left alone. Enter a stranger or caregiver to “help” the survivor. Cash begins to disappear from bank accounts, new accounts are opened, trusts, Wills and Powers of Attorney are redrawn, and the elderly person has been coerced or tricked into signing blank checks later cashed by the caregiver. The San Francisco and California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent senior victims of financial elder abuse by strangers, caregivers and others who through undue influence, fraud, or other tactics take property and money from seniors. If you or a loved one is a California senior who has been injured by financial elder abuse, call us today at (415)441-8669.
In a recent case of the financial exploitation of a senior widower in Southern California, a caregiver with a criminal record moved in following the wife’s death and within months the caregiver and her co-conspirators allegedly stole millions from the senior. The caregiver reportedly worked with two local check cashing businesses to cash most of the checks drawn on various accounts of the senior. The check cashing co-conspirators allegedly made over $120,000 in check cashing fees off the fraud.
If you have a loved one or friend who lives alone, stay involved in his or her life. Isolated older persons need support, someone to talk to about day to day matters, and socialization with others. If they need a caregiver, be sure to screen anyone who comes into the home. After they’re hired, drop by unexpectedly and talk to the senior alone so he or she can open up as to how things are really going. Look for signs of financial elder abuse:
- Unexpected changes in wills, trusts or powers of attorney.
- Sale to the senior of an inappropriate annuity or life insurance policy.
- Changes in spending habits and cash withdrawals or different types of spending than the senior normally incurs.
- Sudden or unexplained check cashing, transfers of money or ATM withdrawals or credit card activity.
- Opening of a new bank or brokerage account (or multiple accounts) or changing banks and brokerage firms.
- Unpaid bills.
- Unusual increase in investment activity or change in investment style.
- A senior who is overly reluctant to discuss financial matters perhaps out of fear from retaliation from a caregiver or other abuser.
- Allowing a new friend or trusted acquaintance to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf
- Someone screening the elder’s phone calls or going through their mail
Keep credit cards, cash, valuables and important papers like a Will or Power of Attorney in a secure place, off limits to caregivers and other strangers. Never grant a Power of Attorney to a caregiver or show them a trust, Will or other financial papers; that’s none of their business. Make an inventory of property in the home. Review bank statements, important records, and the mail. Report suspicions to the authorities and call qualified elder abuse counsel. Our lawyers will pursue all available remedies, including extra damages, and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to which you or your victimized loved one is entitled.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of financial elder abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California at the hands of a care custodian or any other person contact California financial elder abuse attorney Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our attorneys have experience with all types of physical and financial elder abuse, investment and securities fraud and annuity fraud, and nursing home abuse. We can guide your case through a jury trial, or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle qui tam and whistleblower lawsuits, whole life insurance and universal life insurance cases, and cases involving indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.