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Feb 11, 2023 by |

Los Angeles Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Pleads Guilty To Defrauding 91-Year-Old


19 Unauthorized Uses Of Debit Card On A Single Day

Son Alerts Home Care Agency Of Suspicious Transactions

Civil Remedies Available To Victims And Families

As a recent case discussed below illustrates, the unauthorized use of credit or debit cards of elderly persons is a common form of financial elder abuse.  The culprit is often a dishonest caregivers or other stranger who gains access to a senior’s cards.  Whatever the “form” or frequency or size of financial elder abuse, any 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 abuse or neglect in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Caregiver Sentenced For Unauthorized Debit Card Use

In a recently reported case, [1] a caregiver has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and faces a suspended one to two year prison sentence if she fails to abide the terms of her  probation after pleading guilty to defrauding for a vulnerable 91-year-old male.  According to court records, the defendant used the patient’s debit card to run up $15,720 in personal expenditures in a several month period.  The thefts reportedly came to light when police met with the victim’s son, who had recently moved home to care for his dad, a retired school teacher who suffers age-related ailments including memory loss, confusion and delusional thoughts. In going through his father’s financial records, he said, he noticed several suspicious bank card transactions, including online purchases.  His father, the man said, had never made an online purchase and wouldn’t know how to.  

In checking with the victim’s bank, police learned that three transactions on the victim’s personal account had been flagged as suspicious and not processed, two of them attempts to transfer monies to the account of the caregiver and one to one of her family members.  On one day alone, there were 19 transactions using the victim’s debit card, including 10 Amazon purchases, payment of the suspect’s internet service and cell phone bills, her utility bill and car payment and a Yankee Candle order, according to court documents. 

Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse

Always do a background check on any caregiver before he or she is hired.  Ask for references and check them.  Carefully monitor all of a senior’s bank accounts every day if you can. 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. 

Contact Us

If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in Los Angeles or anywhere else in 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 Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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