Caregiver Allegedly Stole Nearly $100,000
Charges Include Financial Elder Abuse, Embezzlement and Forgery
Couple’s Family Discovered Financial Irregularities
Forced isolation of seniors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with the nation’s severe economic downturn have led to a huge spike in financial elder abuse cases throughout Orange County, the State of California and across the country. In-home caregivers or others with ready access to seniors’ financial records, checkbooks, and ATM and credit cards are often the predators taking advantage of increased isolation of the vulnerable elderly. The Orange County and California financial elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent older persons and their families against any individuals or businesses that have financially exploited them. If you yourself or an older loved is suffering this kind of financial abuse here in Orange County or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669.
Allegations in Recent Caregiver Case
In one recently reported case, an arrest warrant has issued for an in-home caregiver on allegations she stole nearly $100,000 from a Northern California couple in their 90s. Charges include suspicion of financial abuse, embezzlement and forgery. The elderly couple, a 98-year-old woman and her 92-year-old husband, employed a caregiver for about six months ending when the couple’s family found financial irregularities and fired her, police said. “The family discovered the problem when they started getting bounced check notifications from the bank,” one detective investigating the case said. “They started looking into it and realized the [couple’s] entire savings were gone.” The caregiver had allegedly used the couple’s credit cards and also spent their money to hire her own family members for housekeeping work. In addition, McClellan allegedly increased the couple’s reverse-mortgage payments to help disguise the effects of her spending. “They had just barely enough to keep their own finances going,” the police investigator said. “She basically took over their finances, ripped them off for almost $100,000.”
How To Spot Financial Elder Abuse
The facts alleged in the reported case are similar to cases our elder abuse litigators have handled. A caregiver starts with relatively small credit card or ATM card uses and then progresses to check forgeries, identity theft, online manipulation of financial accounts and further acts of financial exploitation. Where, as here, an elderly couple already has a reverse mortgage the caregiver may make unauthorized withdrawals/advances of those funds too once he or she has depleted the seniors’ liquid accounts. As mentioned in the reported case above, a family may be able to catch financial elder abuse through carefully reviewing a senior’s bank records routinely. This includes all records including for loans and the like. Our litigators have seen cases where a caregiver arranges for a reverse mortgage on a senior’s home in order to take more funds. If your older loved one has in-home assistance, always vet the individual (and their agency) before they ever come inside. If the caregiver is coming to you through an agency, check out the agency’s track record too. Agencies may do very little to vet their own aides, and that can be a real problem. Once a caregiver is in the home, keep valuables locked up and do not have cash, credit cards or confidential information near at hand. Call your loved on frequently and speak to them alone; tell them to take your call privately and out of earshot of the caregiver. The senior may be intimidated to speak candidly in front of someone they fear. Never ever let a senior give a caregiver a Power of Attorney.
If you suspect any form of financial elder abuse, call Ingrid M. Evans and our other elder abuse attorneys right away. There are time limits for bringing cases and you also want to stop the abuse from progressing; financial predators do not just stop what they’re doing voluntarily. Ingrid and our other financial elder abuse attorneys represent seniors and their families in Orange County and throughout California who are victims of any kind of elder abuse, including financial elder abuse. We can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ingrid and her team of financial elder abuse attorneys will pursue all remedies available to you or your injured senior loved one including getting stolen money back (restitution), undoing any trusts or contracts the abuser may have fraudulently created (rescissions), damages for pain and suffering, and an award of the attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. is not involved in the case in any way.