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May 8, 2022 by |

Marin County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Theft Of Cash And Forged Checks

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Caregiver Used ATM Card Repeatedly

Accused of Forging 24 Checks Totaling $137,000

Another Caregiver Helped Victim Discover Theft

Elders and dependent adults are often unable to protect themselves from financial elder or dependent adult abuse and theft by unscrupulous caregivers in their home or in their room in care facilities. It does not take a dishonest caregiver long to take cash, jewelry, credit cards, checks and valuables if he or she has access, and the abuse will likely continue as long as the fraud remains detected. Theft by credit or ATM card or of jewelry and cash or forged checks are all crimes, and when perpetrated against a dependent adult or senior such theft is also criminal financial elder abuse and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property and anyone assisting them.  Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2).  If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Marin County 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 Sentenced For Theft Of Cash And Forged Checks

A reported case illustrates how extensive caregiver fraud can be.[1] In the case, a caregiver was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing more than $315,000 from a 92-year-old woman by using the victim’s debit card and forging checks from her bank account.  The caregiver was also ordered to pay restitution. The elderly victim will receive more than $50,000 immediately, including $34,000 in bank account assets and $17,000 in cash found on the caregiver when she was arrested, according to the District Attorney.  Authorities say the caregiver started working as an in-home caregiver for the 92-year-old victim by working shifts up to 24 hours at a time.  She allegedly stole the victim’s debit card and personal identification number to make multiple daily cash withdrawals of $500 at a time, and to make unauthorized purchases according to the District Attorney.  According to the authorities, she also forged 24 checks to herself and her husband for more than $137,000.  The thefts were uncovered when the caregiver called in sick one day and another caregiver showed the victim a bank statement which had arrived that day in the mail.

Protecting Elders And Dependent Adults

The suspect in the case was a direct hire by the victim.  Whether you hire an individual directly or go through an agency, always do a background check on any person before hiring them as a caregiver.  Get references and check them.  If you are going through an agency ask for proof that the agency’s employees are bonded and the agency carries insurance.  Check the agency’s license status on the California Department of Health website.  Once the caregiver is in the home, keep jewelry, guns, silver and other valuable possessions in a safe place.  Keep an eye on all of your older loved ones’ bank accounts and where his or her pension and Social Security benefits are being deposited. Change the mailing address for bank statements so that they come to you instead of the older person’s home where strangers can see account numbers. Do not allow any caregiver access to cash, credit cards, checks, and financial information.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or nursing home staff member. 

Contact Us

If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in Marin County or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).  Ingrid pursues all available remedies for families and injured seniors against those responsible, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for the victim or his or her family. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.

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

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