Authorities Allege Agent Stole $270,000 From Elder Client
Agent Allegedly Used Power of Attorney to Embezzle
Agent Accused Of Writing Checks To Himself
Elderly persons, particularly those suffering from dementia, are vulnerable to financial elder abuse from caregivers, financial advisors, strangers, insurance agents and others. Often the tool the financial abuser uses to carry out the theft is a Power of Attorney he or she has obtained from their older victim. In a recently reported case, discussed below, an insurance agent is accused by the authorities of using an elder dementia sufferer’s POA to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from her. The amounts of money involved in the reported case are large, but the same pattern of misusing a Power of Attorney and writing checks on a senior’s account occur in many financial elder abuse cases, large or small, here in Orange County and throughout California. If you or a senior loved one has been victimized by this kind of financial elder abuse, our attorneys can help. The financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent injured seniors and their families in Orange County and throughout California. We can be reach at (415)441-8669. If you need help, call us today.
Allegations of Financial Elder Abuse by Insurance Agent
In the reported case, a former insurance agent recently pleaded no contest to charges of embezzling money from an elderly client who had dementia. Between November 2012 and November 2013, police alleged that the agent served as fiduciary and power of attorney for the victim. During that time, police allege that the agent converted his victim’s funds to his own personal use. Authorities allege that over several years the agent stole a total of $270,000 from his elderly client, after being granted durable power of attorney. Police allege that, using the Power of Attorney, the agent wrote checks to himself from the client’s account and converted those funds for his own use. Several of the transfers were alleged to have occurred while the client was in the hospital, and even after she had passed away. As part of the agent’s plea deal, he who will surrender his insurance license, and pay restitution of $70,000 to the estate of the now-deceased victim.
Signs of Financial Elder Abuse
Whenever another person has a Power of Attorney for a senior there is always potential for abuse. That is why it is so important for older persons to have a trusted family member, friend or advisor – whom they have known for many years – to act as Power of Attorney. As an older loved one ages or begins to lose capacity as a result of dementia, family and friends should be on the lookout for any suspicious activities or new “friends” in a senior’s life. If there is an in-home caregiver, be particularly vigilant in keeping an eye of things. If you suspect any abuse, call elder counsel. Here are a few telltale signs you may want to watch out for:
- New bank accounts the senior and family member can’t access
- Missing records
- Frequent and unannounced visits by persons wanting to transact business with a senior
- Changes in where Social Security and retirement checks are deposited
- Unpaid care or utility bills
- Sudden increase in ATM withdrawals or unfamiliar purchases or spending habits.
- New friends or “advisors” whom you have never heard of in your loved one’s life before.
- Credit cards maxed out, used without permission, unpaid or otherwise harming an older person’s credit score
- Coercing a senior to make gifts or advance loans
- Changes in trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney or other important legal documents
- Refusing to provide money for necessary or shared expenses like food, clothing, transportation, medical care or medicine
Ingrid M. Evans and our other financial elder abuse attorneys represent seniors in Orange County and throughout California who are victims of any kind of elder abuse, including financial elder abuse. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys 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. was not involved in the case in any way.