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Mar 28, 2022 by |

Marin County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Charged With Fraudulent Use Of Dementia Patient’s Credit Card

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Allegedly Stole Credit Card And Cash

Multiple Unauthorized Purchases

Victim Discovers Fraud

Theft from any person is a crime, when the victim is over 65 any theft is also criminal financial elder abuse and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property. Often, the perpetrator of financial elder abuse is the very person who is being paid to care for the elderly person. Caregivers who steal, and anyone assisting them in the theft/financial elder abuse, even if the caregiver is the one who physically takes the elder’s property, are responsible for twice the value of the property taken from the senior.   Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2); Cal. Probate Code § 859 (double damages).  California law broadly defines what constitutes financial elder 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 has been the victim of financial elder abuse by a caregiver or other person in Marin County, San Francisco 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).

Caregiver Charged With Unauthorized Charges On Credit Card

In one recently reported case,[1]  a caregiver was charged with multiple counts of theft, financial elder abuse, and unauthorized use of the credit card of a dementia victim for whom he acted as an in-home caregiver.  The victim allegedly gave her caregiver her cash and a credit card to purchase gas and food for her.  Instead, the caregiver allegedly used the credit card to purchase electronic devices, gift cards, and other articles for himself and spent the cash on lottery tickets. The suspect also allegedly used the credit card to reclaim property of his from a pawn shop. The victim and two of her daughters who hold a Power of Attorney for her notified police after discovery the unauthorized purchases when they reviewed the victim’s credit card statement online. The electronic devices, gift card, and pawn shop property were discovered in the suspect’s home.  the charges are pending.

Protecting Loved Ones From Financial Elder Abuse And Theft

Fortunately, the victim and her daughters detected the caregiver’s fraudulent activity early on in the reported case.  Sadly, the kind of immediate detection is rare when the seniors themselves may not be aware of what is happening to them and have no family or trusted friend reviewing their accounts for them. If your older loved one has in-home assistance of any kind make sure their credit and debit cards, jewelry, cash and other valuables are in a safe place away from reach.  Keep financial information, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers away from a caregiver’s or other stranger’s glance.  Never, ever give a credit card to a caregiver or grant a power of attorney to a caregiver.  Visit your older loved one as regularly as you can to see firsthand how they are doing; talk to them alone away from the caregiver so they can speak freely if they are worried about anything.  Most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in Marin, San Francisco or elsewhere in California who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse.  Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267), or email us at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. 

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

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