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Dec 6, 2022 by |

San Francisco Bay Area Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Accused Of Stealing From Elderly Client

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Elderly Victim’s Daughter Notices Irregularities

Caregiver Allegedly Ordered Debit Card Sent To Her Address

Missing Bank Statements

Unauthorized debit and credit card charges are common forms of financial elder abuse.  Dishonest caregivers with access to checks and debit and credit cards are often the perpetrators of these forms of abuse.  Whenever a dishonest caregiver or other stranger enters a senior’s home, checks and entire check registers, credit and debit cards and ATM cards, accessible cash, and jewelry or other valuables provide an easy target. This is especially true if the senior is confined to bed or one room of the home or otherwise unable to know what is going on around them.  As a recent case discussed below illustrates, a caregiver may even order a new debit or credit card and have it sent to their own address if they can access the account online or over the phone impersonating their victim. Any taking of a senior’s property, or 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 San Francisco or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Caregiver Charged With Theft

In one reported case, [1]an in-home caregiver is accused of making purchases on a client’s credit card and then paying the bill with the client’s debit card. A probable cause affidavit states that the elderly client’s daughter contacted police earlier this year to discuss her mother’s credit card and bank statements. The statements showed $1,895.45 in unauthorized charges, according to the woman. The bank statement reportedly showed the debit card was used to pay for the unauthorized charges made with the credit card.  According to the affidavit, the caregiver allegedly overheard the mother and daughter talking about the bills. The woman told police that the caregiver then said she needed a ride home due to a family emergency, court documents alleged.  During the car ride, the woman told police that the caregiver said the issue with the bank statement was taken care of. When the woman returned to her mother’s home, her mother told her the bank statement was missing. When the woman asked the caregiver what happened to the statement, she allegedly told her the family dog had ripped it so she threw it away.  The credit card statement showed someone reported the card missing and ordered a replacement sent to an address that matched the caregiver’s home address, court documents indicated.

Contact Us

As the reported case illustrates, careful, daily monitoring of all a senior’s accounts – not just the household checking account – is the best way to protect an older loved one.  Start your due diligence even before you get to the account monitoring stage.  Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them.  Never, ever give a caregiver a Power of Attorney, credit card, or a blank check.  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, 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 info@evanslaw.com. 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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