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Oct 29, 2022 by |

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

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Caregiver Caught After Evading Arrest

Charges Range From Forgery To Unauthorized Credit Card Use

Allegedly Stole $22,000 From One Wheelchair Bound Patient

We cannot emphasize enough that a thorough background check and getting and checking references are two of most important steps an elderly person’s family can take once it’s decided to find an in-home caregiver.  Even if you go through an agency, follow these steps yourself; do not rely on the agency to vet its roster of caregivers.  Dishonest caregivers may have hours of unobserved access to checks, credit cards and valuable property throughout an elder or dependent adult’s home particularly if the patient is confined to bed or a wheelchair in one room or one part of the home.  Wrongful takings of a senior’s property include forging checks, taking cash or personal property or unauthorized use of an ATM card or.  Any wrongful taking of a senior’s property, or any assistance in that taking by a friend or spouse of the dishonest caregiver, 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 financial abuse in Marin or elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area or throughout California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Caregiver Arrested For Theft

In one reported case, [1] a woman who escaped the authorities once after reportedly preying on her elderly patients has now been apprehended and charged.  According to police, the woman worked as a caregiver for elderly people, but instead of helping them, police say she helped herself to tens of thousands of their dollars.  Back in the summer, police say they began getting some police reports of some family members who were seeing suspicious debit card and credit card charges appearing on the accounts of persons the woman allegedly worked for as a caregiver.  Then the police also discovered checks that were apparently changed and forged into the name of the suspect. Authorities say the woman stole at least $22,000 from one victim who was the wheelchair bound daughter of an 85-year-old woman.  “We hired [defendant] as a caretaker for [my wheelchair bound daughter],” the woman said. “My vibes with her were not good to begin with, and I’m sorry I didn’t pay attention to the vibes. But we were desperate…”

Protecting Older Loved Ones From Financial Abuse

Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them.  Also, once a caregiver has been hired, act on any suspicions you have or as the 85-year-old mother said in the reported case any bad “vibes” you have.  Call counsel and get advice; do not wait for real problems. Never allow a stranger, housekeeper or caregiver access to checks, cash or credit cards or jewelry and valuables.  Even if you have checks under lock and key continue to monitor a senior’s account online as online or phone access may also redirect their money to a caregiver’s accounts or the senior’s money may be used to pay a caregiver’s bills online. Never, ever give a caregiver a Power of Attorney, credit card, or a blank check. 

Contact Us

If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in Marin or anywhere else in the San Francisco Bay Area or throughout the State of California, 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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