74-Year-Old Widower And Dementia Sufferer Loses $5 Million
Stranger Allegedly Completed More Than 120 Fraudulent Transactions
Filled Suitcase With Stolen Cash And Sold Victim’s Home
Financial elder abuse of seniors is a real problem throughout the State of California. Sometimes, the theft is relatively small, but often, if the abuser believes he or she is getting away with their theft, the amounts taken grow and grow. We have seen caregivers and others literally take everything an elder has and even orchestrate loans and reverse mortgages so that they can take more when their victim’s liquid assets are all depleted. Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents victims of financial elder abuse throughout the State including in San Francisco, Alameda County, and all around the Bay Area. There are a variety of fact patterns in financial elder abuse cases but one recurring common denominator – the victim is an isolated older man or woman and often recently widowed. The pandemic expanded the isolation of the elderly and the risk of financial elder abuse has spiked in Alameda County throughout the past year. As we emerge from the pandemic and becomes possible to see our older loved ones again and stay active in their lives, this is an important time to check over their financial affairs and financial condition, particularly if they are under the care of an in-home caregiver or have a new companion, spouse, or partner. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse, call us today at (415)441-8669 or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Large Scale Abuse Of Widower With Dementia
In one recently reported case, a 50-year-old woman was sentenced for her alleged financial elder abuse of a 75-year-old widower suffering from dementia. According to case records, defendant befriended the widower and over time gained accessed to close to $6 million in assets (including his home), withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from his accounts, sold his stocks and took the proceeds and ultimately sold the victim’s home. Authorities said that at one point the cash being taken was so great that defendant filled a suitcase with it. According to court records, the defendant used this money to buy houses for herself and her daughter, pay off her daughter’s school loans of $150,000, and to gamble with her victim’s money. The victim’s granddaughter testified at the sentencing hearing that defendant also stole precious family heirlooms, her grandparents’ beautiful home, and separated the family from their grandfather by claiming that his deceased wife was speaking through her and convincing him to have no contact with his family. The sentencing judge said the following in handing down a five-year prison sentence to the defendant: “I just don’t understand how greedy someone can actually be to not give a hoot about how it impacts the victim. Millions of dollars have been taken and lost. It is incredulous.”
Evans Law Firm, Inc. sees situations like the one that occurred in this case frequently, and have represented the family members and victims against the caregiver responsible to get justice for the elder and their families.
Protecting Older Loved Ones From Strangers
Now that pandemic restrictions are easing, families and friends of older persons can safely re-enter their lives and be there to protect them from outright theft and the problems they may get into if they are sold an unsuitable investment or insurance product like an annuity. Recently widowed men and women are particularly vulnerable. As in the case reported above, strangers may take advantage of their loneliness and ingratiate themselves into their lives. If you stay involved in a senior’s life you will know if someone new begins to inveigle their way into your loved one’s life.
Seniors needing in-home assistance are also at risk. If you need to hire in-home help for a senior loved one, always do a background check on anyone who enters their home. If you are going through an agency, vet the assigned individuals yourself anyway as agencies do not always vet their staff thoroughly. Check out the agency’s record too on the California Department of Social Services website. Always ask for recommendations and check them! If your loved one already lives at home under the care of an in-home caregiver, be especially vigilant about their wellbeing and financial affairs. Monitor credit cards and bank accounts online and we encourage you to do so. You also may want to redirect mail to your own address so any caregivers or other strangers in a senior’s or dependent adult’s home do not have access to 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. Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.
If you or someone you love is the victim of financial elder abuse by a “friend” of a senior, a second spouse, caregiver, or other person in Alameda County, San Francisco, anywhere in the Bay Area or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267), or by email at email@example.com. We will pursue all available remedies against those responsible for the financial elder abuse of the senior, including damages, rescission (undoing a fraudulent transaction), restitution (getting your money back), extra damages (to punish illegal behavior), and the award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your action.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.