Caregiver And Assisting Relative Financially Exploited Senior
Police Say More Than $171,000 Taken
Victim’s Daughter First Detected Suspicious Checks
Theft from a victim is over 65 is straight theft but is also criminal financial elder abuse and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property and anyone assisting in the abuse. In many cases, abusers such as caregivers of elderly persons work in concert with others in schemes to take a senior’s property. Penal Code § 368 (crime of financial elder abuse); Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(definition of financial elder abuse). “Financial elder abuse” is defined broadly under California law:
(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 has been the victim of financial elder abuse by a caregiver or other person in Napa 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 And Assisting Relative Sentenced For Financial Elder Abuse
A reported case from some years back illustrates how persons may work in concert to financially exploit an older person. In the case, a caregiver and an aunt of hers were convicted on felony elder theft charges for skimming large chunks of money from their elderly employer’s account.
The 78-year-old victim originally hired the caregiver through a private care company, but after several months, the caregiver allegedly urged the woman to hire her privately so she could earn more money. The caregiver then encouraged her to hire her aunt for extra help on nights and weekends. According to the police, the elderly woman regularly gave the two caregivers blank, signed checks and told them to fill in the amounts they were owed. The caregiver then began claiming exorbitant payments far exceeding the agreed payments, according to police. The elderly woman’s daughter became suspicious of the caregivers after reviewing her mother’s checkbook and noticing large sums of money being paid to both women. The daughter first reported that the caregivers had embezzled around $10,000, but an investigation by the district attorney’s elder financial abuse unit revealed that the pair stole $171,256 over three years, according to court records. The defendants were sentenced to 11 months in jail, 5 years probation and order to repay the victim in full for what was taken..
Preventing Elder Financial Abuse And Theft
Any senior, like the victim in the reported case, is vulnerable to theft when strangers are working in his or her home as caregivers or doing any other kind of work. If your older loved one or spouse has in-home assistance of any kind make sure their credit and debit cards, jewelry, cash and other valuables are in a safe place away from reach. If a senior has any cards that they never use, destroy them and alert the relevant bank or credit card company that the card is discontinued. Never, ever give a caregiver (or anyone else) a blank check. Never give a caregiver a credit card or ATM card to shop or get cash for a senior. Keep financial information, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers away from a caregiver’s or other stranger’s glance. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver. Visit your older loved one as regularly as you can to see firsthand how they are doing and find out what is going on with them as the friend did in the reported cash.
Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in Napa County or elsewhere in California who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse. Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267), or email us at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the reported case in any way.