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Jan 25, 2022 by |

California and San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Bookkeepers Allegedly Stole From Elderly Clients

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Bookkeeper Accused Of Stealing From Elderly Clients 

Suspicious Victims Contacted Police

Unauthorized Withdrawals And Deposits To Her Own Account

As people grow older they sometimes retain bookkeepers to pay their bills and manage their finances.  In California a licensed professional fiduciary may be an appropriate choice when a senior needs help keeping up with finances.  But there are unlicensed, self-proclaimed “bookkeepers” out there who may take advantage of access to a senior’s finances for their own benefit.  Whenever an unscrupulous person has access to a senior’s finances the danger of exploitation and theft exists.  All acts of financial elder abuse are criminal and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property ad anyone assisting them.  Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2).  Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents victims of financial elder abuse from any source, be it caregivers, trustees, bookkeepers, persons with Powers of Attorney and others, and pursues all remedies available under the law.  Call us today at (415)441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267) if any senior loved one has suffered any kind of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, and we can help.

Examples of Financial Elder Abuse by Bookkeepers

Two recent cases illustrate how a bookkeeper may steal from an elderly client.[1] In the first case, a bookkeeper of an elderly client allegedly opened a joint bank account in her name and the elderly victim’s name — unbeknownst to the senior, investigators said.   The bookkeeper then allegedly diverted the senior’s funds in this joint account by 80 electronic transfers and checks totaling more than $212,000 from the victim’s individual bank account into the joint account. The bookkeeper then allegedly withdrew the cash from the joint account for personal use and to pay her credit card bills, according to police. 

In the second example, a bookkeeper for two senior citizens pleaded guilty to stealing more than $110,000 from them and now faces up to 15 years in prison.  According to the filed charges, the bookkeeper stole more than $100,000 from a 70-year-old client by making 55 unauthorized withdrawals from his accounts and depositing the funds into her own account.  Just months later, according to police, the bookkeeper began a similar scheme, stealing more than $10,000 from her second victim, a widow and her family for whom she was providing in-home bookkeeping. The schemes were uncovered when one of the victims grew suspicious and contacted police.

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse And Theft

Fortunately, in these cases the victim or their family alerted the police when they noticed money missing from accounts. If you have an older loved one, make use to stay involved in their life and protect them from this kind of abuse.  Monitor all their bank accounts, investment accounts, and credit card accounts online.  Audit the work done by any bookkeeper or trustee for the senior.  Trace any senior’s income and expenses through all accounts and pay special attention to transfer out of their account to any other account.  We have seen many instances where a caregiver or other persons sets up a joint or separate account and siphons a senior’s money into that account for their own use. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or a bookkeeper.  Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in San Francisco and throughout California who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse.  Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267), or email us at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. 

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

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