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Jun 17, 2022 by |

Orange County Financial Elder And Nursing Home Abuse Attorney: Protecting Nursing Home Residents From Financial Elder Abuse

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Warning Signs Of Fraud And Dishonesty

Missing Money Or Possessions

Social Security, Pension And Other Benefits

Every senior residing in an assisted care or skilled nursing facility faces a real danger of financial elder abuse by dishonest staff and administrators.  Theft of cash and jewelry from nursing home rooms is one obvious risk.  But other forms of financial abuse are present too and may be harder – and take longer – to detect.  For example, unscrupulous administrators, staff and bookkeepers may use access to confidential information (Social Security numbers or bank account numbers) to steal from unwary residents or use trust money on deposit with the home to make purchases for themselves.  All such financial elder abuse is against the law and grounds for civil liability.  See Penal Code § 368 (crime of financial elder abuse) and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). Evans Law Firm. Inc. represents victims and their families suffering any form of financial elder abuse. We pursue all persons responsible, including the owners, administrators and staff directly responsible or as supervisors with a duty to protect residents from any kind of abuse.  Call us today at (415)441-8669 if any senior loved one has suffered any kind of financial elder abuse in Orange County, Los Angeles or elsewhere in California.

Examples Of Financial Elder Abuse By Home Administrators[1]

Educate your loved ones about the signs of potential financial elder abuse like a malicious or nosey staff member, missing money or possessions from the room, requests for “updating” account information, or a staff member suddenly asking for you to sign unexpected and unfamiliar financial documents. Some recent examples of theft in nursing homes illustrate how some of the dangers.

In the first example, an office staffer at a business running two skilled nursing facilities was charged with billing $101,000 in personal expenses to the trust accounts of 83 residents at the two facilities. She pleaded guilty in to multiple counts of exploitation of vulnerable adults. According to authorities the staffer had used resident trust funds (intended to cover their incidentals) to buy clothes for herself, expensive boots, hair dryers, make-up, designer jeans, baseball hats, expensive coats and more.  The fraud was spotted when her manager noticed that a bedridden resident’s account had been debited for $90 for a pair of designer jeans.

In the second example, a former nursing home administrator was charged with 12 felony counts of theft, theft by deception and forgery, and financial exploitation of an elderly person. Authorities allege that 20 residents were victimized by the individual, who took advantage of fraudulent bookkeeping of residents’ accounts and bank statements. Police allege that the administrator made false entries in the nursing home’s records and physically wrote checks to herself from residents’ check books totaling over $100,000. Police allege that the administrator forged resident signatures, and in some cases, signatures of co-workers who were authorized signers so the theft would not seem as suspicious.

How To Protect Nursing Home Resident From Financial Elder Abuse

Regular monitoring of an older loved one’s bank accounts, IRAs, cash, valuables, and credit card statements is the front line for protecting the senior from financial abuse.  Never ever allow the senior to give a caregiver or a nursing home administrator a Power of Attorney or authorize them to sign checks.  Make sure checks, important papers, account numbers and Social Security numbers are not accessible to those persons.  Run a check through the California Department of Health to see if any citations have ever issued to the home for any manner of abuse.  Redirect the senior’s mail to your own address so nursing home staff or strangers do not have access to the resident’s mail.  Keep an eye on where their Social Security and pension money is directly deposited; sometimes abusers try to re-route those deposits to their own accounts. 

Contact Us

If you suspect any financial elder abuse of an older loved one in Orange County, Los Angeles or elsewhere in California call Ingrid M. Evans and the other financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today. Ingrid and our other attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or email us at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.  We handle all types of elder abuse cases throughout California.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in either of these cases in any way.

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