Defendant Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Victim Of $2.7 Million
Allegedly Attempted To Defraud Victim’s Estate Of Over $20 Million
Deceased Victim Suffered From Mental Illness
Any theft from dependent adults or seniors, large or small, in addition to criminal theft also constitutes criminal financial elder/dependent adult abuse. California Penal Code § 368. While seniors and dependent persons can be victims of financial abuse from any quarter, the financial predators are most often persons with intimate access to the victim, like in-home caregivers, second spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, or other persons living with the senior or assisting them frequently. Isolated dependent adults and seniors are at particular risk as are those with cognitive impairment or mental illness, as the recent case discussed below illustrates. Whatever the condition of the elderly or dependent individual and whatever the amount, any taking of a their property and 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 financial abuse in Malibu or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Hairstylist’s Guilty Plea
In a recently reported federal criminal case, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a hairstylist has pled guilty to defrauding a physician suffering from mental illness out of more than $2.7 million prior to his death and then attempting to defraud his estate out of an additional amount exceeding $20 million. His co-defendant and former girlfriend previously pled guilty to several crimes allegedly perpetrated by her against the same victim.
According to the DOJ, the defendants used false promises and representations to befriend the victim — a physician and successful investor worth more than $60 million, but who suffered from a mental illness and lost the ability to care for himself after multiple hospitalizations. Within days of meeting the victim, the DOJ reports that defendants moved into the victim’s beachfront Malibu home – rent free – and slowly took control of his life by pretending to be his new “best friends” and caregivers. According to court records, in the final days of the victim’s life, defendants gave the victim LSD, and while the victim was under the influence of LSD, defendants transferred $2 million of his money to their own account. The DOJ alleged that the two then left the victim, and, from a luxury hotel paid with the victim’s funds, remotely watched the victim’s deteriorating mental condition on video cameras installed throughout his Malibu beach house. After the victim died, defendants claimed he “promised” them a third of his estate and his Malibu house, and filed a fraudulent creditor’s claim in that amount with the probate court. The victim’s executor alerted law enforcement to the defendants’ conduct and the investigation, arrests and prosecution followed terminating in the guilty pleas.
If you sense any kind of elder or dependent adult abuse of a loved one or friend in Malibu 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.