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May 2, 2012 by |

California Agent Arrested on Charges of Financial Elder Abuse

On behalf of The Evans Law Firm on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

California Agent Arrested on Charges of Financial Elder Abuse

Life Health Pro

Recently, a life insurance salesperson in Los Angeles was arrested on charges of fraud and elder abuse. This incident highlights the unfortunate prevalence of financial crime and abuses targeting seniors today. The best way to avoid long-term scams and fraud is to stay informed and do your research whenever buying or looking into long-term care or insurance. Depending on your financial bracket, it may be prudent to attempt to get Medi-Cal coverage rather than purchase a new insurance policy.

Two resources that are helpful regarding the quality and legitimacy of insurance companies in California are the California Department of Insurance and the California Partnership for Long-Term Care.

Make sure you are aware of the exact benefits you do and do not receive from every potential policy, and compare policies and prices before you select one. Similarly, be aware of the restrictions of each policy. Do not buy duplicate policies.

If you do decide to purchase a policy, fill out your own application to ensure the accuracy of all the information in it, and follow-up regularly to make sure you continue to receive updates regarding the status of your policy. Always pay your premiums by check or debit card, and make the checks payable to the insurance company instead of the individual agent. Keep track of all your documents and payments related to the policy, and avoid pressure to “upgrade” your policy once you have decided upon it.

Finally, if you suspect a scam or fraudulent behavior, contact the Department of Insurance to report it immediately. To report fraud in California, call 1-800-927-HELP.

In Los Angeles, California, life insurance agent Frank Conlon was arrested on charges of financial elder abuse. According to the California Department of Insurance (CDI), Conlon was charged with two felonies: defrauding seniors and embezzlement of funds over $1 million. Among the California Penal Code statutes he allegedly violated were those of elder abuse, grand theft, and fraud.

The CDI report and investigation shows that while working as a life insurance agent, Conlon allegedly diverted significant sums of premium funds from seniors who believed he was investing their money in life insurance and annuities purchases. Between September 2011 and the date of his arrest in spring 2012, Conlon allegedly embezzled over $1 million worth of funds from his clients, many of whom were unassuming senior citizens.

In addition, Conlon allegedly intentionally misled his clients with false documents from purported insurance companies, in order to make his clients believe that their money was sent to the insurance company.

Two victims who were Conlon’s clients, 82 and 86 years old, had entrusted funds to Conlon to purchase life insurance and annuities on their behalf. These victims ended up losing money that had been a substantial portion of their retirement funds. According to the CDI, Conlon diverted these funds and used them for his personal purposes, while the elderly victims were led to believe that their money was being invested in life insurance.

These two elderly citizens represent a small portion of elderly victims of financial abuse. It is all too often that we see insurance companies and agents take advantage of the vulnerabilities of old age. The arrest of Frank Conlon is a step in the right direction for elder abuse prevention in California and the rest of the country. Lawmakers, law officials, and citizens must be vigilant in avenging, but also in preventing elder financial abuse.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in California, contact the Evans Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation with a California lawyer at today at 415-441-8669 or toll-free at 888-50-EVANS. Or contact us by email at info@evanslaw.com .

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