Caregiver Allegedly Stole Over $53,000
Victim’s Family Discovers Theft After Victim’s Death
Statistics show that the risk of financial elder abuse increases as we age; that is, a 90-year-old person is at greatest risk, say, than a 70-year-old. Of course, the statistics are not surprising as we tend to grow more dependent on others the older we get, and cognitive impairment also frequently sets in as we get older. But whether a victim is 65 or 95, any wrongful taking of their property is financial elder abuse. Any wrongful taking of a senior’s property, or any assistance in that taking, is a crime and grounds for civil liability of the person doing the taking and anyone assisting him or her. California Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder or dependent adult abuse:
(a) “Financial abuse” of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following:
(1) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
(2) Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
(3) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult by undue influence, as defined in Section 15610.70.
If you or a loved one is a victim of elder or dependent adult financial 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 Arrested For Theft And Hate Crime
In a recently reported case,  a woman charged with stealing from a 96-year-old man she had been paid to care for has recently been sentenced to one-and-a-half to three years in prison, according to the local police department involved in the case. The former caregiver was charged with felony counts of grand larceny as a hate crime, identity theft, and falsifying business records. The grand larceny was considered a hate crime because she targeted an elderly victim, the police said in a press release. The victim’s family became concerned when they were reviewing the man’s estate after he died. Police discovered that the caregiver had stolen $53,121.86 from his account, the release said.
Protecting Older Loved Ones From Financial Abuse
Unfortunately, the victim’s family in the reported case did not discover the missing funds until after their loved one had died. This fact pattern is common. Often, families are in the dark about a senior’s finances until they die and their banking and other financial records are reviewed by their heirs. We encourage families to get involved in their older loved one’s affairs earlier, especially if they are under the care of in-home caregivers and help protect them from financial exploitation. There are some specific steps you should take for their protection: Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them. Never allow a caregiver access to checks, cash or credit cards. Even if you have checks under lock and key continue to monitor a senior’s account online as online or phone access may also redirect their money to a caregiver’s accounts or the senior’s money may be used to pay a caregiver’s bills online. Never, ever give a caregiver a Power of Attorney, credit card, or a blank check.
If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in Alameda County or anywhere else in the Bay Area or throughout the State of California, call us right away. Ingrid M. Evans has years of experience in representing seniors and their families against abusers of any kind, including in-home caregivers. You can reach us at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.