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May 17, 2024 by |

San Francisco Bay Area Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Home Care Agency Fined $100,000 For Placing Unscreened Aides With Clients


Allegedly Assigned Aides With Criminal Records

Santa Clara County DA Brings Lawsuit

Agency Accused Of Failing To Do Background Checks

Seniors under the care of in-home health aides are at risk of financial elder abuse if the aide is dishonest and greedy, looking for any opportunity to exploit their patient.  At Evans Law Firm we always recommend you thoroughly vet any stranger before doing any work in a senior’s home; do not rely on any agency you may be working with to have done that. We frequently see assigned caregivers working through agencies that have not properly vetted them. Regardless, any theft by a dishonest aide or caregiver is financial elder abuse (in addition to criminal theft) 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).

Fine On Care Agency

In one reported case, [1] a civil complaint brought by a Local district attorney alleged that a home care agency did not obtain required clearances for dozens of aides before they were placed with clients, according to prosecutors. The district attorney’s office also said the agency made false statements on its website and in its client agreements that its aides were properly screened.State law requires home care agencies to ensure aides are cleared on the California Department of Social Services home care aide registry before they are placed with clients.Clearance requires fingerprinting and a criminal history check, according to prosecutors, and those convicted of any crime are prohibited from serving as aides. “Families trust home care organizations to follow the law when they hire employees,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “Placing strangers into homes without a background check or screening puts elderly and disabled citizens in harm’s way.”

The alleged agency violation came to light after one of the agency’s aides allegedly stole thousands of dollars from an elderly client, according to prosecutors. That case remains pending. The district attorney’s office said its investigation also found a different aide allegedly stole money form a client in another Bay Area county.

The court ordered the agency and its owner to pay $100,000 in civil penalties for unfair competition and false advertising, according to prosecutors. The company was also instructed to comply with the Home Care Services Protection Act and to maintain personnel records related to all clearances and placements.

Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse

Always do your own background check on any caregiver before he or she is hired even if you are working through an agency.  Ask for references and check them.  Once the caregiver is on the job have the timecards sent to you so you can verify their accuracy. There are other important steps to follow as well to prevent more elaborate schemes of financial abuse. Careful monitoring of a senior’s checking account – and close review of cancelled checks – may have caught the reported fraud in this case sooner than eight or nine months.  Always monitor a senior loved one’s checking account; take a look at it online every day if you can. 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. 

Contact Us

If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in Santa Clara County or elsewhere 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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