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Nov 4, 2022 by |

Los Angeles Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Bookkeeper Sentenced For Stealing From Family Company And Its Elderly Owners

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Family Believes Over $2.5 Million Stolen 

Owner’s Social Security Benefits Allegedly Taken

Bookkeeper Worked For Family For 25 Years

So many times we read that financial elder abuse is perpetrated on a senior by someone, like a caregiver, who is new to the life of the elderly person.  Sadly, though, seniors may also be victims of financial elder abuse by persons who have been associated with them for a long time such as financial advisors or bookkeepers.  In a recent case, discussed below, a bookkeeper stole from a family business and its elderly owners for years before being caught, confessing to her crimes, and being sentenced to four years in prison.  Any act of financial elder abuse perpetrated by anyone against an older person is a criminal act in itself (in addition to being a crime of theft or embezzlement for example) and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property and anyone assisting them.  Penal Code § 368 (crime of financial elder abuse); Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2)(definition of financial elder abuse including assisting in the abuse).  Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents victims of financial elder abuse from any source, be it caregivers, trustees, bookkeepers, persons with Powers of Attorney and others, and pursues all remedies available under the law.  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 abuse in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, and we can help.

Bookkeeper Sentenced For Embezzlement And Financial Elder Abuse[1]

In the recent case just alluded to, a longtime bookkeeper of a family real estate business and its elderly owners has been sentenced for years of stealing from the business and its aged owners.  The woman was employed by the family for over 25 years.  The children of the senior owners reviewed the books of their parents and the family business, noticed that a lot of money seemed to be missing, and passed the books over to the police.  The authorities investigated and charged the bookkeeper with stealing millions over the years stealing company checks, padding her own salary and moving ill-gotten money through the bank accounts of affiliated businesses to hide its origins.  According to authorities she also stole the Social Security checks of the elderly wife of the company’s owner while the owner himself was dying of cancer.  When the older couple’s son questioned the woman about the missing Social Security money, the woman allegedly convinced him that his mother was confused and then accused the mother’s caregiver of stealing the money.

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse And Theft

This extraordinary case involved millions of dollars of theft over many, many years.  But wealthy seniors are by no means the only potential victims of financial elder abuse.  It can strike any senior, rich or poor, married or widowed, male or female.  Diligence in monitoring financial records and safeguarding checks, cash and credit cards and financial information are the best ways to prevent this sort of theft.  Frequent monitoring of an older loved one’s financial accounts – including checking where their Social Security and pension benefits are deposited – is the frontline of protecting your older loved one. Monitor all of a senior loved one’s bank accounts, investment accounts, IRAs, and credit card accounts online.  Caregivers and bookkeepers should never have access to cash, checks, ATM cards or credit cards. Audit the work done by any bookkeeper or trustee for the senior.  Trace income and expenses through all accounts and pay special attention to transfer out of their account to any other account.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or a bookkeeper or let a senior loved one open a joint account with anyone. 

Contact Us

Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away. Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in Los Angeles 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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