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Nov 20, 2022 by |

Marin County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregivers And Stolen And Forged Checks

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Caregiver Allegedly Stole Two Books Of Elderly Couple’s Checks

55 Forged Checks

More Than $139,000 And Jewelry Stolen

Stolen checks and check forgeries are a common form of financial elder abuse. Forgery is a crime and when the victim is a senior, forgeries also constitute criminal financial elder abuse and grounds for civil liability. Whenever a dishonest caregiver or other stranger enters a senior’s home, checks and entire check registers, accessible cash, and credit cards and jewelry or other valuables provide an easy target. This is especially true if the senior is confined to bed or one room of the home or otherwise unable to know what is going on around them.  In fact, 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 Sentenced For Theft

In one reported case, [1]a woman was sentenced to seven years in state prison for stealing more than $139,000 from the elderly couple under her care.  The woman, an unlicensed caregiver, pleaded no contest to 10 counts of financial elder abuse and three misdemeanors for being a caregiver without a permit.  The woman allegedly forged checks from an elderly couple for 18 months after she stole two boxes of checks from them.  The elderly couple’s children noticed the suspicious activity in their parents’ checking account and alerted authorities. The children stated that he hired caregiver violated their parents’ trust when she stole the checkbooks and forged checks for thousands of dollars each month. She eventually forged 55 checks, draining their bank account, according to the couples’ son. Along with their parents’ losses of more than $139,000, their great-grandparents’ wedding rings and other family keepsakes are also missing, according to a family statement submitted to the court. According to the couple’s son, his father, a retired bank manager, never wanted to discuss what had happened. He lost 40 pounds in four months, the couple’s children told the court.

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Careful monitoring of all a senior’s accounts – not just the household checking account – may have caught the reported fraud in this case sooner than many months.  Start your due diligence even before you get to the account monitoring stage.  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, 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, 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 info@evanslaw.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

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

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