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Jan 10, 2022 by |

Marin County Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys: Financial Advisor Sentenced To Prison For Using Power Of Attorney To Steal $260,000 From Dementia Sufferer

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Elderly Client In Assisted Care Facility

Financial Advisor Pled Guilty To Financial Elder Abuse

Victim Nearly Evicted For Unpaid Bills

Financial Powers of Attorney (POAs) grant the agent acting under them broad powers over a principal’s financial affairs.  See Cal. Prob. Code §§ 4401 (financial POA).  The agent normally has access to all of the principal’s bank accounts.  The potential for abuse of such authority and access is always present; your agent has to be a person you trust.  Never, ever, grant a Power of Attorney to a caregiver.  At Evans Law Firm, Inc. we recommend seniors appoint two trusted individuals as agents so that joint action is required for all transactions, further safeguarding a principal from misuse of the POA by any single individual. Misuse of a Power of Attorney is grounds for civil liability of twice any amounts taken, and also attorneys’ fees awards for the victim. Probate Code § 4231.5.  If the principal is a senior, POA misuse also constitutes criminal and civil financial elder abuse.  Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30. If an agent has misused a POA to your or an older loved one’s detriment in Marin, San Francisco or elsewhere in California call us at (415)441-8669 or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Recent Sentencing Of Financial Advisor For Theft By Power Of Attorney

In a recently announced criminal sentencing,[1] a former financial advisor was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding $260,000 from an elderly client living at an assisted living facility in San Jacinto.  The California Attorney General’s Office announced that the advisor pleaded guilty to one count each of elder abuse and money laundering. The advisor was ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution to the victim, in addition to another victim who she stole money from at the same assisted living facility.  Court records show that the advisor was granted power of attorney for an elderly woman living in the facility who suffered from an impaired cognitive condition.  The advisor was supposed to be paying the victim’s bills. Instead of paying the woman’s facility board and care costs, the advisor kept the money for her own gain from 2014 to 2017, the Attorney General’s Office said.  The victim was nearly evicted from the facility when the advisor pocketed the funds instead of paying the bills, according to the Attorney General’s Office. “Stealing from elders and deliberately mismanaging their finances is a heinous crime,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “Our elders deserve to be treated with dignity, not as puppets to further the agendas of selfish individuals.”

Civil Recourse for Victims And Families

Evans Law Firm, Inc. has represented victims and their families in cases where a caregiver or other individual has used a POA to steal from a senior.  We pursue all persons responsible for this kind of abuse.  In addition to prohibiting straight out misappropriation of funds, California law also prohibits an agent from designating beneficiaries or creating future (or survivorship) interests in the principal’s property unless specifically authorized to do so in a POA.  Cal. Prob. Code § 4264.  The agent is strictly prohibited from making or revoking the principal’s Will. Cal. Prob. Code § 4265.  Misuse of a POA to commit any wrongful or unauthorized act renders the transactions void and also makes the offending agent liable for twice the sums taken and for the victim’s attorneys’ fees incurred in bringing suit for the abuse.  Cal. Prob. Code § 4231.5(c).

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans can represent you if an agent has misused a Power of Attorney granted by you or an older loved one.  If you need help, call us today at 415-441-8669 or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Ingrid will pursue all remedies available against the agent, including attorneys’ fees and expenses for the older person required to bring an action based on the agent’s wrongful conduct.

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

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