Unauthorized Use Of Credit Cards
Another Caregiver Alerts Police Of Irregularities
Caregiver And Husband Charged
Cash, checks, and credit cards within reach of a dishonest in-home caregiver is one common method 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 Marin or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Caregiver And Husband Sentenced For Financial Elder Abuse And Theft
In a sentencing announced earlier this Fall,  a former home health care provider was sentenced to probation for using bank and credit cards of a n elderly, dependent person for personal purchases. The sentencing stems from the arrest of the victim’s caregiver and her husband on charges alleging they used bank and credit cards for a 71-year-old man at various stores, racking up more than $8,200 in purchases, according to court records. The caregiver was a home health provider assisting the man, who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, court records say. Police were notified of the alleged thefts when the caregiver failed to show for her shift at the man’s residence. When she was confronted in January 2021, she pledged to repay the man but failed to do so, court records say. Police alleged the caregiver and her husband used the man’s bank and credit cards at fast food restaurants, pet stores, department stores, gasoline service stations and auto repair stores. The caregiver plead guilty and was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay restitution. Charges against the caregiver’s husband for access device fraud, criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property and theft are still pending.
Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse
A caregiver 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 Marin or anywhere else in the San Francisco Bay Area or throughout 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.