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Jul 13, 2021 by |

California and San Mateo County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Theft Of Cash And Forged Checks

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Caregiver Allegedly Stole $315,000 From 92-Year-Old Woman

Forged Checks And Unauthorized Use Of Debit Card Charges

Caregiver Sentenced To Five Year Prison Sentence

Whenever a caregiver or stranger enters a failing senior’s home, there’s a risk of theft and financial elder abuse.  The theft may be a quick grab of cash or a credit card and can range from theft of cash or improper purchases on a credit card to sustained, intricate schemes that target a senior’s entire estate and can take away all of a senior’s savings, trust assets, and maybe even their home.  In addition to the direct financial injury, the wellbeing of the seniors is dramatically affected too; victims of financial elder abuse have a mortality rate three times that of seniors who are not subject to such trauma, according to studies.  Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. has represented families of older loved ones where a caregiver or other person has attempted to take everything a dying senior owns. Ingrid always pursues all persons responsible for any form of elder abuse, including the caregiver or other person actually taking a senior’s property, anyone assisting them, and the owners of caregiver agencies or businesses employing the abuser if applicable.  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 or dependent adult abuse in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California.

Arrest for Financial Elder Abuse

One reported case shows how quickly financial predators strike against defenseless seniors.[1] In that case, a caregiver was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing more than $315,000 from a 92-year-old woman by using the victim’s debit card and forging checks from her bank account.  The caregiver pleaded guilty to financial elder abuse by a caregiver, plus a sentencing enhancement for fraud over $250,000.  She was also ordered to pay restitution. The elderly victim will receive more than $50,000 immediately, including $34,000 in bank account assets and $17,000 in cash found on the caregiver when she was arrested, according to the District Attorney’s Office.  Unfortunately, the restitution amounts are less than a third of what was allegedly stolen.  According to police, the caregiver began taking from her victim shortly after she started working for her and was able to take the $315,000 alleged in less than one year.

According to the police, the caregiver stole the victim’s debit card and personal identification number to make multiple daily cash withdrawals of $500 at a time, and to make purchases such as gasoline and a computer. She allegedly also forged 24 checks to herself and her husband for more than $137,000.  The thefts were uncovered when the caregiver called in sick one day and another caregiver showed the victim a bank statement which had arrived that day in the mail.

Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse And Theft

Evans Law Firm, Inc. has represented victims and their families who have sustained just this kind of financial elder abuse by a caregiver, and in even greater amounts, and have succeeded in recovering the lost money.  It’s always best, of course, to protect an older person from having this happen to them at all.  The best way to do that is to stay active in your older loved one’s life. 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.  Accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters.  You can 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.  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 Mateo County 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 case in any way.

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