Facility Employee Exploited Senior Resident
Allegedly Used Power Of Attorney To Gain Access To Funds
Ordered To Pay $300,000 In Restitution
Residents in assisted care facilities and nursing homes are at risk of financial elder abuse every bit as much as seniors living at home under the care of in-home caregivers. Facility staff may take advantage of their position and the trust elderly residents (and their families) have in them, or they may be business office employees who have access to financial account information of residents for billing purposes. In a recent case, discussed below, a facility staff member abused a Power of Attorney she had for an assisted care facility resident to steal from the resident. At Evans Law Firm, Inc. we recommend seniors never give a caregiver a Power of Attorney to a caregiver or staff member of a care facility. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or anywhere in the Bay Area or throughout California, call us today at (415)441-8669. We will pursue all persons responsible for a senior’s injury. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Assisted Care Facility Staff Member Sentenced
California Attorney General Rob Bonta last week announced the guilty plea of a woman accused of committing financial elder abuse against a resident of an assisted-living facility in Riverside County. The defendant, who assisted elderly clients with their finances and living arrangements at the facility, was granted Power of Attorney (POA) by her victim. As POA, according to the government she failed to act on behalf of her client, and instead used her position to gain access to the victim’s funds for her own personal gain. Abusing her role as POA, the defendant allegedly defrauded the victim of more than $260,000 in total. Records obtained from the assisted-living facility confirmed that the defendant was the POA and responsible party for her victim. Billing records revealed that facility board and care costs were not being paid by the defendant, putting the victim — who was over 65 years old, dependent, and suffering from an impaired cognitive condition — at risk of eviction. Forensic auditing by the AG’s office showed that the victim had sufficient funds to pay for care, but the funds were diverted by the defendant for her own personal gain according to prosecutors. The defendant pled guilty to one count of elder abuse and one count of money laundering and has been sentenced to three years in local prison. The defendant has also been ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution, which includes restitution to an additional victim.
Preventing Financial Abuse Of Older Loved Ones
Based on the reported case, we repeat the advice given above: Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or nursing home staff member. Also, be sure caregivers and facility staff do not have access to a senior’s cash, checks or credit cards, or financial information like bank account numbers and Social Security numbers. Monitor credit cards and bank accounts online as frequently as possible. Have financial statements and important papers mailed to your own address so others do not have access to you loved one’s business mail. Accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters, including any meetings with the business office of any nursing or assisted care facility in which they reside.
If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in San Francisco, or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). Ingrid pursues all available remedies for families and injured seniors against those responsible, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for the victim or his or her family. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.