Betraying Seniors’ Trust
Financial Elder Abuse Can Strike Any Senior
Advisor Accesses Client Funds
Financial advisors, caregivers, insurance agents, retirement planners, stock brokers, trustees, persons with Powers of Attorney and even court-appointed conservators can all financially exploit seniors. Sometimes, it’s outright theft, but more subtle financial maneuvers like selling unsuitable life insurance or annuities, promoting risky investments, churning stock accounts, or effecting estate plan changes can be equally disastrous. Our elder abuse litigators fight for the victims of financial elder abuse against all those responsible for any fraudulent scheme or act harming a senior. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Marin or elsewhere in California, call the elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at (415)441-8669.
In one recent case*, a financial advisor admitted to federal charges of wire fraud as part of his alleged scheme to steal over $1 million from a 96-year-old client and an 84-year-old client. Prosecutors alleged the financial advisor withdrew money from the clients’ accounts over a three-year period and deposited the money into his personal checking account or his business account. He also allegedly prepared false documents to persuade the clients that they were making significant profits even though he had significantly depleted their accounts.
Spotting Financial Elder Abuse
During the pandemic you may not be able to visit your older loved ones as often as in the past but you can stay in communication over the phone and review their bank statements and records frequently. Here are a few ideas of what to look out for:
1. Unexplained transfers and checks against bank accounts.
2. Unexpected changes in wills, trusts, or powers of attorney. Never ever give a Power of Attorney to a senior’s caregiver
3. Sale to the senior of an inappropriate annuity or life insurance policy.
4. Changes in spending habits and cash withdrawals or different types of spending than the senior normally incurs.
5. An increase in check cashing, transfers of money, ATM withdrawals, or credit card activity, however minor each charge may be. If a caregiver or other person thinks they can get away with small amounts, the numbers will increase over time.
6. Opening a new bank or brokerage account or changing banks and brokerage firms.
7. Unpaid bills.
8. Unusual increase in investment activity or change in investment style toward riskier or unregistered investments.
9. A senior who is overly reluctant to discuss financial matters perhaps out of fear from retaliation from a caregiver or other abuser.
10. Allowing a new “friend” or caregiver to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf.
11. A caregiver or other person screening the elder’s phone calls or going through their mail.
Report any suspicions to the authorities but also contact elder abuse counsel. The financial elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm will pursue all available remedies against those responsible, including damages, rescission (undoing a fraudulent transaction), restitution (getting your money back), extra damages (to punish illegal behavior), and the award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your action.
If you or someone you love is the victim of financial elder abuse by a financial advisor, conservator, caregiver, trustee, stock broker, insurance agent, or other party in Marin or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans and the other financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with securities, annuity, and other investment fraud, financial elder abuse cases and complex qui tam or whistleblower cases including offshore tax avoidance cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.
*Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.