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May 20, 2022 by |

Alameda County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Charged With Stealing From 83-Year Old Wheelchair-Bound Patient

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Caregiver Given Financial Duties 

Family Discovers Alleged Theft During Audit 

Claims Money Needed For Kidnap Ransom

We cannot stress enough that a caregiver hired to care for an older or dependent person should never be given any financial responsibilities.  Ever.  Even giving a caregiver a credit card to run one errand is risky.  Caregivers should be responsible for care only and have nothing whatsoever to do with finances or ever given access to financial information, Social Security numbers, credit cards, checks or cash.  Never, ever give a caregiver a Power of Attorney or a blank check. If a senior or dependent person is a victim of financial elder abuse, Evans Law Firm. Inc. can represent the victim and his or her family, and pursue all persons responsible, including anyone assisting in the abuse.  We will pursue all available remedies including an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing suit.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.  If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Caregiver Charged With Theft

A recently reported case demonstrates what can happen when a caregiver is entrusted with financial duties.[1]  In the case, the caretaker of a wheelchair-bound 83-year-old woman is accused of embezzling nearly $15,000 after being entrusted to handle the elderly woman’s finances.  According to police, the elderly woman’s family put the caregiver in charge of depositing Social Security checks and paying the woman’s expenses after the daughter of the elderly woman, who had been responsible for her finances, was diagnosed with cancer and no longer able to assist, prosecutors said.  Subsequently, the daughter had recovered from cancer enough to resume the financial responsibilities and carried out an audit of her mother’s accounts, according to the Assistant State’s Attorney.  The audit revealed that the caregiver had allegedly taken over $15,000 from the elderly woman’s accounts for her own use.  When confronted by the authorities, the caregiver claimed that she had sent the money via Western Union to pay the ransom for a kidnapped family member out of the country.  When police checked with Western Union, however, they were told that the individual had not made any Western Union transfers.  The suspect is awaiting trial.

Keeping Loved Ones Safe

The takeaway from this story is never, ever give a caregiver financial duties.  If there is no family member who can pay the bills and manage accounts, consider a licensed, bonded professional fiduciary to do the job.  Keep all of a senior’s bank and credit card information secure, and monitor credit cards and bank accounts online.  Track where your loved one’s Social Security and pension benefits are being deposited.  Have financial statements mailed to your address so others do not have access to you loved one’s business mail.  Also, make sure that financial information like account numbers and Social Security numbers are kept away from a caregiver’s glance.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or nursing home staff member.   Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.  

Contact Us

If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in Alameda County, or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).  Ingrid pursues all available remedies for families and injured seniors against those responsible.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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