Government Alleges Over $1 Million Stolen
Elderly Victim With Ailing Health
Bookkeeper Accused Of Stealing From Victim And Her Business
Anyone with access to an elderly person’s money may be a potential financial predator on the elderly man or woman. Often the predator is a newcomer into the senior’s life, but seniors are vulnerable to financial exploitation by those they have known for years as well. It’s a sad truth that as people lose their ability to manage their own finances, there are others who are poised to take advantage of that situation. Any act of financial elder abuse perpetrated by anyone against an older person is a criminal act in itself (in addition to being a crime of theft or embezzlement for example) and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property and anyone assisting them. Penal Code § 368 (crime of financial elder abuse); Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2)(definition of financial elder abuse including assisting in the abuse). Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents victims of financial elder abuse from any source, be it caregivers, trustees, bookkeepers, persons with Powers of Attorney and others, and pursues all remedies available under the law. Call us today at (415)441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267) if any senior loved one has suffered any kind of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, and we can help.
Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Theft
In a recently reported case, a bookkeeper pled guilty today in federal court to fraud and tax evasion arising from her theft of more than $1 million dollars from a high-end interior design company and its owner, an elderly woman with ailing health. Prosecutors allege that the bookkeeper by used the elderly woman’s company funds to pay he own personal credit card bills. A full forensic accounting conducted by the FBI revealed that the bookkeeper had stolen over $1 million. According to the government the victim’s interior design company was a small business built from the ground up by the woman who began the company as a single mother of four. In more cent years, as the woman aged and her health deteriorated, the government claims that the bookkeeper breached the trust placed in her and used company funds as her own private ATM, effectively bankrupting the business and owner in the process.
“Today’s sentence has put an end to [defendant’s] flagrant actions and complete disrespect of the law. For years [she] was a trusted insider who preyed on her employer by stealing funds to financially enrich herself” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski. “Those who abuse their position of trust for their own financial greed will not be tolerated. The FBI and our partners will continue to uncover those committing fraud and causing harm to businesses and individuals for personal gain.”
Preventing Elder Financial Abuse And Theft
This case involved a million dollars of theft over many years. But wealthy seniors are by no means the only potential victims of financial elder abuse. It can strike any senior, rich or poor, married or widowed, male or female. Diligence in monitoring financial records and safeguarding checks, cash and credit cards and financial information are the best ways to prevent this sort of theft. Frequent monitoring of an older loved one’s financial accounts – including checking where their Social Security and pension benefits are deposited – is the frontline of protecting your older loved one. Monitor all of a senior loved one’s bank accounts, investment accounts, IRAs, and credit card accounts online. Caregivers and bookkeepers should never have access to cash, checks, ATM cards or credit cards. Audit the work done by any bookkeeper or trustee for the senior. Trace income and expenses through all accounts and pay special attention to transfer out of their account to any other account. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or a bookkeeper or let a senior loved one open a joint account with anyone.
Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away. Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in San Francisco and throughout California who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse. Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267), or email us at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the reported case in any way.