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Oct 25, 2022 by |

San Francisco Bay Area Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver And Housekeeper Theft From Elderly

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Housekeeper Arrested For Jewelry Theft

Elderly Victim Used Online Service To Hire

Multiple Pieces Of Jewelry Missing In Four Days

Anytime a dishonest stranger enters a senior’s home, there is a real danger that things will go missing – cash, checks, credit and ATM cards, jewelry, and other valuable items.  Dishonest caregivers and housekeepers may have hours of unobserved access to valuable property throughout a senior’s home if the senior is confined to one room or is deaf or suffers from dementia and is just not aware of what is going on around him or her.  Wrongful takings of a senior’s property include taking cash or personal property or unauthorized use of an ATM card or charges on a credit card or forging or altering a check.  All wrongful 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).  Owners and supervisors of caregiving and housekeeping agencies may also be liable for negligent hiring or supervision of personnel who take a senior’s property.

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 anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area or elsewhere in 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 recently hired housekeeper was arrested for allegedly stealing jewelry from an elder victim’s home.  According to police, the elderly victim went through an online placement agency to find a housekeeper to work in her home.  Within four days of the assigned housekeeper working in the home, the victim reported that multiple pieces of her jewelry were missing.  She told police that the housekeeper had been the only other person in her home during the four-day period the items went missing.  Police detectives reportedly found several pieces of the victim’s jewelry at a local pawn shop using a Department of Justice website that tracks items that have been sold or pawned.  Charges are pending.

Protecting Older Loved Ones From Financial Abuse

Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them. 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 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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