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May 5, 2024 by |

San Francisco Bay Area Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Arrests In Murder Of Senior/Financial Elder Abuse Case


Three Charged In Murder-For-Hire Scheme

96-Year-Old Victim

Predatory Reverse Mortgage On Victim’s Home

California has the most expensive real estate in the country.  Many seniors live in homes whose value has increasingly enormously over the years at the same time that their income is stagnant.  Reverse mortgage lenders and other predatory schemers target older persons in this perilous situation where their income is not keep up with increased cost of living expenses.  The wrongful taking of a senior’s property through any scheme, and any assistance in that taking, is a crime and grounds for civil liability of the person doing the taking and anyone assisting him or her. California Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse).   California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder or dependent adult abuse:

(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 is a victim of elder or dependent adult abuse or neglect in the San Francisco Bay Area call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Recent Arrests In Murder/Financial Elder Abuse Case[1]

Two years ago, sheriff’s deputies found a 96-year-old California woman strangled inside her home.  In March, authorities announced the arrest of three people charged in a murder-for-hire scheme and reverse-mortgage scam to seize her nearly 4-acre estate in Montecito. The case was shrouded in mystery as investigators pieced together “a tangled, evil web of financial exploitation against the victim,” the local sheriff said in a news conference last week. The scheme allegedly began in 2020 when the widow, who was in “a financially distressful situation,” was approached by one of the individuals arrested offering to sell her a reverse mortgage on her upscale estate, authorities said.   The individual allegedly orchestrated a series of transactions that included forging documents and establishing fraudulent entities to illegally gain control over the victim’s property, valued between $4 million and $11 million at the time of her murder. Detectives then found evidence the victim became the target of a murder-for-hire scheme, the sheriff said. “Let me put it this way,” the sheriff said at a recent press conference. “In the eyes of [the financial abuse], [the victim] was living too long.” Three days before she was found dead, two other individuals arrested in the scheme had gone on “a scouting trip” to the victim’s home, according to the sheriff’s office.  Charges against all three suspects are pending.

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The reported case illustrates the danger of letting strangers work their way into an older person’s life.  We have seen cases come through our office where we believed the victims were fatally over medicated in order to get their property. Stay involved in any senior loved one’s life so a stranger does not have the opportunity for this kind of theft and exploitation.  If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in the San Francisco Bay Area, call us right away.  Ingrid M. Evans has years of experience in representing seniors and their families against abusers of any kind, including in-home caregivers.  You can reach us at (415) 441-8669, or by email at Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

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

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