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Apr 4, 2022 by |

Orange County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Accused Of Stealing More Than $14,000 From 80-Year-Old Patient With Dementia

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Victim’s Friend Discovers Suspicious Activity

Credit Card Purchases And Cash Withdrawals

Suspicious Activity On Victim’s Credit Report

Theft from any person is a crime, but when the victim is over 65 any theft is also criminal financial elder abuse and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property.  Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a).  Anyone assisting in financial elder abuse, even if another person is the one who physically takes the elder’s property, also commits financial elder abuse and is responsible for the property taken.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(2).  If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse by a caregiver or other person in Los Angeles, Orange 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).

Caregivers Arrested For Theft From Patient

In one recently reported case,[1]  a caregiver has been arrested and accused of stealing more than $14,000 from her patient, an 80-year-old woman with dementia.  The victim’s friend – who had power-of-attorney – learned that one of the elderly woman’s credit cards was missing. After reviewing the missing credit card’s statement, she discovered that there had been several fraudulent charges on the card, and also found suspicious activity on the victim’s credit report.  When the friend talked with the victim about her finances, she learned that the caregiver — who had initially been paid with checks — was now driving the woman to the bank where she would withdraw cash to pay her. At that point, the victim’s friend contacted the authorities.  After reviewing bank statements and credit reports, detectives discovered the caregiver had obtained $4,868 more than her agreed-upon salary through these cash withdrawals.  Additionally, investigators also found payments to utility providers to the caregiver’s personal residence, along with three credit cards fraudulently obtained in the victim’s name. The sheriff’s office said those cards were used to buy clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, bath and travel items, meals at restaurants, and to pay childcare fees. In total, the caregiver had charged $9,594.28 to those cards, detectives said.   The caregiver is awaiting trial on multiple felonies, including grand theft, exploitation of the elderly, criminal use of personal ID of a person over the age of 60, fraudulent use of credit cards, and obtaining property by fraud.

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.  Fortunately, here, the victim’s friend had a Power of Attorney and used it to access and review the victim’s bank statement whereupon she saw the suspicious activity and went to the authorities.  If your older loved one 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 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.  Most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in Los Angeles, Orange 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:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. 

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

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