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Feb 19, 2022 by |

Los Angeles Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Theft From Elderly Couple With Alzheimer’s

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Authorities Discover 1500 Unauthorized Transactions By Caregiver

Withdrawals From Retirement, Checking And Savings Accounts

Financial Abuse And Criminal Investigation Takes Heavy Toll On Couple

Unscrupulous caregivers with access to a senior’s bank account information are in a position to make unauthorized transfers and withdrawals through online transactions, and forge checks to drain those accounts for themselves.  The theft of course is a crime but, when the victim is over 65, the actor has also committed the separate crime of financial elder abuse and is liable for damages and other recovery in any civil lawsuit brought by the victim or his or her family.  Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1).  Anyone who assists in any taking of cash or property from a senior also commits financial elder abuse.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(2).  Financial elder abuse is broadly defined under California law:

(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 has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Los Angeles or elsewhere 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).

33-Month Prison Sentence For Stealing $363,000 From Elderly Couple

In a recent case,[1] a caregiver has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for stealing $363,000 from an elderly husband and wife both suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  Authorities began their investigation and initially charged the caregiver after the couple’s son discovered unauthorized transactions when reviewing his parents’ accounts and contacted the police about it.  The police (and eventually the FBI) found that the caregiver had accessed the couple’s retirement and savings accounts too and had credit cards issued in their name which were then used by the caregiver for big-ticket purchases including four cars, clothing, jewelry, restaurant meals, a Princess Cruise, a trip to Disneyland, breast augmentations, liposuction, gym memberships, meal-service subscriptions, carpeting, high-end mattresses, $18000 in athletic wear and $14,000 toward pet services.  In total, the FBI identified over 1500 authorized transactions totaling at least $363,000.  The family is also suing the bank where the checking account was maintained for failing to recognize red flags of abuse of the elderly accountholders.  Both the civil cases and criminal cases are pending.

Protecting Parents And Other Older Loved Ones

The family in the reported case initially trusted the caregiver and had not monitored their parents’ accounts for the first two years the caregiver was employed.  When the family did take a look at the accounts, they were shocked at what had happened.  Evans Law Firm recommends families always keep an eye on older loved ones’ accounts beginning the moment any caregiver or stranger enters their older persons’ lives.  Cash, credit cards, checks, and financial information should all be kept out of the reach of any caregiver or other stranger in the home.  Keep jewelry and valuable possessions in a safe place.  Take photographs of each room of the house so you can detect anything missing from the way the rooms used to be. 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. Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.

Contact Us

If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in Los Angeles, or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.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.

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

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