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Mar 8, 2021 by |

Contra Costa County and California Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Pursuing Caregivers Who Steal From The Elderly

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Financial Elder Abuse Is A Crime Regardless Of The Amount Stolen

Older Persons Subjected To Abuse Have Much Higher Mortality Rates

Financial Abuse Brings Emotional and Physical Toll Too

When a celebrity is subject to financial elder abuse, news outlets rush to cover the story, whether the victim is an elderly movie star, TV personality, sports figure or wealthy philanthropist.  But thousands of older Americans are victims of financial abuse every day in our country, and the cases here in Contra Costa County keep mounting too.  Whether it’s theft of jewelry, silver or cash, a forged check or a quick theft with an ATM card, it’s wrong and it’s a crime.  The emotional toll on an older person of theft of their wedding ring can be as devastating as a thousand dollars from their bank account. All seniors, rich and poor, are potential victims and particularly those who have strangers regularly in their homes as caregivers or providing other services. The Contra Costa County financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors here in Contra Costa County and throughout California who are victims of financial elder abuse. If you need help call us today at (415)441-8669. 

Financial Elder Abuse, Big and Small

Just over the past few years, the news has included a megachurch pastor sentenced for a multi-million fraud against older members of his church, an aging comic book creator allegedly victimized for years by his business manager in the millions, a famous artist allegedly kidnapped and exploited as he sank into dementia, and a wealthy New York socialite left to sleep on her couch even though she had hundreds of millions in the bank. For every one of these stories, though, there are thousands more where older people of modest means are victimized: their jewelry goes missing, their purse or wallet stolen, checks forged, ATM cards used to supply a stream of cash for a caregiver that never gets to the elder or a spending spree with a senior’s credit card.  The incidents can be isolated or part of a larger scheme.  In one reported case an aide in a care facility was arrested for stealing a total of 275 pieces of jewelry from the residents of various care facilities where the caregiver was employed.  Know that in every single one of these thousands of smaller cases, the victim suffers not only from the money or item stolen, but heartache and a heavy emotional and physical toll.  Studies reveal that elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death than those who are not abused.

Circumstances And Red Flags To Look Out For

Older adults are especially vulnerable to financial exploitation and manipulation when some or all of the following circumstances exist:

  • Recent loss of a spouse or partner
  • Social isolation (especially during the pandemic)
  • Dependence on someone for care, transportation, or other services
  • Financial responsibility for someone else
  • Recent change in health – this is particularly the case after a stroke or other trauma
  • Frequent mistakes in handling finances
  • Regularly running out of money by the end of the month
  • Willingness to listen to telemarketers and participate in sweepstakes contests
  • Pressure from caregivers or others to share or gift money or change their wills

Red Flags

Keep an eye out for red flags that an older person is being financially abused, including:

  • Trouble paying bills or making financial decisions
  • A caregiver or stranger who takes a new interest in the older person’s personal and financial matters
  • Expressing fear and anxiety
  • Giving others access to financial accounts
  • Reporting money missing
  • Gifting or transferring money to others
  • Showing signs of physical neglect or decline in physical appearance

Contact Us

If you see any of these red flags or have other suspicions of abuse, do something about it immediately.  Report any abuse to the authorities but also call elder counsel.  Ingrid M. Evans and the other financial elder abuse attorneys represent seniors in Contra Costa County and throughout California who are victims of financial elder abuse or fraud.  Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.com. We will pursue all remedies available against everyone responsible, which may include owners of caregiver agencies and care facilities or nursing homes where the abuse occurs.  Available remedies include getting stolen money back (restitution), undoing any trusts or contracts the abuser may have fraudulently created (rescissions), damages for pain and suffering, and an award of the attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.

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