Altered Checks And Forgeries
Fraudulent Checks Allegedly Overdrew Account
How To Protect Your Loved Ones
If you or an older loved one has an in-home caregiver, be careful not to involve them in your or your loved one’s financial affairs. Regardless of how trustworthy the caregiver is, just keep caregiving separate from finances. Never hand an ATM/debit card or credit card to a caregiver and ask them to go get cash or make purchases. Never give out any PIN numbers. Never, ever allow any of these things because they so often lead to theft. Keep checks, ATM/Debit cards, and cash away from caregivers or other strangers who enter a senior’s home. Nor can we stress enough that a senior should never, ever, grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or add a caregiver as an authorized signer on a checking account. Any wrongful takings of a senior’s property, or any assistance in that taking, whether theft of cash, theft by check forgery or altered checks, or unauthorized use of credit or debit cards or online money transfers out of a senior’s accounts are crimes 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 Mill Valley call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Caregiver Charged With Theft
In one reported case,  the caregiver of an 86-year-old woman is facing felony charges after she allegedly helped herself to her client’s checking and banking accounts stealing thousands of dollars. The caregiver faces charges of abuse, neglect, and financial elder abuse and exploitation by a caregiver. The suspect worked as a contract caregiver at an assisted care facility where the victim has been living since she underwent heart surgery. Police say the caregiver was in charge of the finances of her victim and was supposed to pay herself and a second individual, but was instead stealing money. Relatives became suspicious something was wrong after numerous cheeks had apparently bounced and returned as non-sufficient funds, and reported their suspicions to police. According to the police, several checks were discovered to be written for larger than normal sums of money. In at least three of the instances the checks were reportedly written out to the suspect. Several unapproved charges were also discovered on the victim’s bank debit card.
Protecting Loved Ones From Financial Elder Abuse
Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them. Make sure any caregiver is denied access to any back account information; keep cash, checks and credit and debit cards out of reach. Never, ever give a caregiver or “helper” or other new “friend” a Power of Attorney, credit card, or a blank check. Never, ever, add a caregiver as an authorized signer on a checking account. 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 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.