73-Year-Old Disabled Victim
Caregiver Allegedly Repeatedly Overpaid Herself
Confused Victim Paid Caregiver Multiple Times For Same Hours
Dishonest caregivers will take advantage of any impairment they perceive in the patients they’re paid to care for. One primary impairment as patients age is their memory; while seniors may continue to write their own checks and pay their own bills, they may be forgetful of what has already been paid. A dishonest caregiver or workman may use this forgetfulness to present more than one bill or invoice for the same services and get double pay. This is clearly a wrongful taking and any wrongful taking of a senior’s property, or any assistance in that taking, is a crime and grounds for civil liability of the person doing the taking and anyone assisting him or her. California Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder or dependent adult abuse:
(a) “Financial abuse” of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following:
(1) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
(2) Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
(3) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult by undue influence, as defined in Section 15610.70.
If you or a loved one is a victim of elder or dependent adult financial abuse in Contra Costa County or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Caregiver Arrested For Overpaying Herself
In a recently reported case,  a woman who was working as a caregiver of a 73-year-old disabled person has been arrested on allegations of fraud and financial elder abuse of the senior. According to the police incident report, the caregiver was presenting the victim with more checks to sign for her services than usual. The victim said she thought she was signing checks for the care that was provided. The victim’s family had been monitoring her checking account and reportedly started to notice multiple and duplicative checks going to the caregiver. When the family researched the matter further, they found that the caregiver had allegedly overpaid herself by $15,172 in a relatively short amount of time. She was arrested and charged with financial exploitation and intimidation of an elderly person. The charges are pending.
Protecting Care Facility Residents From Financial Abuse
Fortunately, the victim’s family caught the overpayment scheme before it got even worse. If a dishonest caregiver gets away with a scheme like overpayment they rarely just stop on their own. The fact that the caregiver had access to the checks for presenting to her victim is also troubling. Never allow a caregiver access to checks, cash or credit cards. Even if you have checks under lock and key continue to monitor a senior’s account online as online or phone access may also redirect their money to a caregiver’s accounts or the senior’s money may be used to pay a caregiver’s bills online. Also, start your due diligence sooner too. Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them. Never, ever give a caregiver a Power of Attorney, credit card, or a blank check. Stay involved in any senior loved one’s life so a stranger does not have the opportunity for this kind of theft and exploitation.
If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in Contra Costa County or anywhere else in the Bay Area or throughout the State of California, call us right away. Ingrid M. Evans has years of experience in representing seniors and their families against abusers of any kind, including in-home caregivers. You can reach us at (415) 441-8669, or by email at email@example.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.