Two Caregivers Charged With Theft And Financial Elder Abuse
Accusations Of Numerous Forged Checks And Credit Card Charges
Families Discover Account Irregularities
Unscrupulous caregivers with access to a senior’s bank accounts, checks, checkbook or checking account statements, or any other accounts, ATM cards, credit cards or any financial information, can steal from a senior especially if the senior lives alone and no one is watching over his or her affairs. Financial exploitation of a senior is a crime and grounds for civil actions for damages and other relief. Penal Code § 368(crime of elder abuse); Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 15610.30(a)(1)(definition of financial elder abuse). Anyone who assists in taking property from a senior also commits financial elder abuse. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(2). If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Jose or elsewhere in Contra Costa County, San Francisco or anywhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669. We will pursue all persons responsible for a senior’s injury. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Two Recent Caregiver Cases
Two recent caregiver fraud cases in the news illustrate how caregivers may financially exploit seniors:
- In the first case, a caregiver was sentenced to four years in prison for embezzling more than $2,000 by forging checks belonging to a local man she had worked for as a caregiver. The caregiver also pleaded guilty to a felony count of theft of property involving a firearm from her elderly patient. According to the probable cause affidavit on the forgery and theft charges, a bank manager filed a complaint with the police stating that the caregiver had cashed four checks at the bank and that the bank was later notified the checks were not valid and the account they were written on had been closed because of fraud. According to the affidavit on the firearm theft, the patient stated that two guns were missing from his home at around the time the caregiver was present. Police later recovered the guns at a local pawnshop and the pawn tickets showed that the caregiver had pawned the two stolen guns. The caregiver has been ordered to pay restitution and was sentenced to four years in prison.
- In the second case, a caregiver was charged with the exploitation of a senior suffering from Parkinson’s disease who was in her care. According to police, the caregiver made more than $6000 of unauthorized charges on the credit cards of the 89-year-old man. The charges were discovered by a family member of the senior who saw a financial statement with the suspicious transactions. The suspect was also arrested with possession of methamphetamine, Oxycontin, shoplifting, possession of drug paraphernalia and contempt of court. The charges are pending.
Protecting Older Loved Ones From Financial Abuse
These two cases illustrate just how careful you need to be about allowing anyone access to a senior’s home, and how important constant monitoring of a senior’s bank and credit card accounts is. Run a background check on anyone you allow in their home even if the aide is assigned by an agency. Ask for references and check them out. Remove jewelry, silver and valuable possessions from the home. Remove all credit cards and cash from the home. Have financial statements mailed to your own address so others do not have access to you loved one’s business mail. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver. Do not allow a caregiver to take a credit card to go shopping or an ATM card to go get a senior some cash; you’re only asking for trouble if you do. If you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.
If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in Contra Costa County, San Francisco, or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at email@example.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). Ingrid pursues all available remedies for families and injured seniors against those responsible, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for the victim or his or her family. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. is not involved in these reported cases in any way.