Unauthorized Debit Card Use Alleged
Victims’ Families Discover Irregularities
Purchases And Withdrawals Reportedly Linked To Suspect
Seniors living in facilities are at risk of financial elder abuse from dishonest staff members in the same way that seniors still living at home may be financially exploited by dishonest in-home caregivers. Cash, checks, and credit cards within reach of dishonest caregivers are common methods of financial abuse of a dependent adult or senior. Online access to accounts is another. Financial exploitation of dependent adults and seniors can happen very quickly. Sometimes, the amounts stolen start out small, and, if the caregiver believes he or she is getting away with their theft, increase over time. Whatever the form of financial elder abuse and whatever the amounts, 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 Arrested For Allegedly Defrauding Facility Residents
In a recently reported arrest,  a nursing assistant at an elder care home has been arrested for allegedly defrauding two seniors who had lived at the facility. According to police, the suspect was arrested outside the facility on suspicion of identity theft, grand theft, financial elder abuse and unauthorized use of a debit card. Earlier this year, the adult son of a 73-year-old woman being cared for at the facility alerted police that her month’s debit card was stolen and was used more than 100 times between April and August of this year. The son told police that the charges totaled more than $10,000. Police said the son realized there was an issue with his mother’s accounts after finding out rent payments to her apartment were not being made due to lack of funds in her account. Nearly a month later, police received another report of fraud from a man whose 70-year-old sister stayed at the same care home before her death. The man said he found what was described as “numerous” fraudulent purchases that were made the week she died. Investigators were able to link the fraudulent transactions to a nursing assistant who worked at the facility, which led to her arrest.
Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse
A caregiver, whether in a senior’s home or working in a facility, should never have access to a senior’s cash, checks, ATM cards or credit cards. Ever. Even if you consider the caregiver to be trustworthy, just don’t do it. You’re only asking for trouble. A dishonest caregiver or other stranger in a senior’s home will grab whatever they can get. Keep cash, checks and cards out of their reach. But don’t stop there in protecting your older loved one as online or phone access to accounts can also be a method for getting money. Regularly monitor all of a senior’s accounts; view account activity online every day if you can. 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, ATM card, 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 Los Angeles or anywhere else in 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.