Caregiver Allegedly Cashed 126 Checks Off Elder’s Account
Dissolved A Trust And Gifted Proceeds
Allegedly Wrote Check Day After Victim Died
Financial elder abuse can strike any senior, rich or poor, male or female, living at home or residing in a care facility. There are a variety of fact patterns in financial elder abuse cases but with one common denominator – the victim is an isolated and often recently widowed. When an isolated senior needs an in-home caregiver or needs to be institutionalized, the risk of financial exploitation greatly increases. Typically, the theft starts out in small amounts but can grow over time if the caregiver thinks he or she is getting away with it. Sometimes, as in the reported case discussed below, and in cases we have seen at Evans Law Firm, Inc. the abuse can last over years and add up into the millions. The pandemic has expanded the isolation of the elderly and the risk of financial elder abuse has really spiked at this time. Stay involved in a senior’s life, look for signs of abuse (outlined below) and get help. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or anywhere in the Bay Area or throughout California, call us today at (415)441-8669.
Caregiver Allegedly Stole $1.1 Million
In one recently reported case, a 55-year-old woman was sentenced for her alleged financial elder abuse of a 94-year-old widow. According to case records, defendant had gained accessed to over $1.1million in assets, withdrawn hundreds of thousands of dollars from the victim’s accounts by writing herself over 126 checks, and transferring the victim’s late husband’s trust, valued at $650,000 to her own daughter and recording is as a “gift.” As a local detective stated about the case, “It is shocking. The only reason we found out is because the last check she wrote was the day after the victim died, which was $90,000.” That check was also labeled as a gift and placed in the caregiver’s daughter’s account. “It wasn’t till after she died that they were able to see the big picture and all the checks being cashed. It’s alarming at that point,” the police detective said. The caregiver is charged with a felony count of exploitation of the elderly over $50,000. The case is still pending and the charges are allegations only at this point.
Protecting Seniors From Theft and Financial Abuse
Staying involved in an isolated senior’s life is the best way to detect abuse. If you can’t make a personal visit, call on the phone speak directly with an older person and find out what is going on in his or her life. If the senior has an in-home caregiver be especially vigilant about watching financial matters for the senior. Monitor the senior’s credit cards online or close the cards altogether if they are not necessary; unauthorized use of credit cards is a very common form of financial elder abuse. Monitor all of a senior’s retirement, investment and bank accounts online. You also may want to redirect mail to your own address so any caregivers or other strangers in a senior’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 San Francisco, or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ingrid 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.