Charged With Theft Over Eighteen-Month Period
Family Member Noticed Unauthorized Activity
Police Review Bank Surveillance Videos
Crimes with caregivers preying on elderly victims is a national issue and a growing problem in California and here in San Francisco. Older victims lose more than $3 billion annually in scams and financial exploitation, according to FBI and National Institute of Justice statistics. As many as one in 10 vulnerable adults are potential targets, according to federal officials. Theft of course is always a crime and when the victim is over 65 it is also a crime of financial elder abuse and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property. Anyone assisting in financial elder abuse, even if another person is the one who physically takes the elder’s property, also commits financial elder abuse and is responsible for the property taken. Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2). Financial elder abuse is broadly defined under California law to include those persons who take a senior’s property or assist in that taking:
(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 has been the victim of financial elder abuse by a caregiver or other person in San Francisco or elsewhere in 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).
Caregivers Arrested For Theft From 90-Year Old
In one recently reported case, a former caregiver has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from a 90-year-old woman she took care of, according to police and court records. The caregiver was arrested on charges of financial elder abuse and breach of trust. According to police, the suspect allegedly stole the money from the 90-year-old person she worked for from early 2019 through August 2020. The caregiver “unlawfully used funds for her advantage while working as a caregiver,” the warrants state. Police were told of the alleged thefts when a family member of the victim saw unauthorized account activity, according to a police report. Following the tip, the police investigated and located bank statements and surveillance video from a financial institution that show withdrawals allegedly made by the caregiver, police said. The suspect is awaiting trial on the charges.
Protecting Older Loved Ones From Elder Financial Abuse And Theft
The case illustrates that any senior who has strangers working in his or her home as caregivers or any other kind of work is vulnerable to theft. If your older loved one has in-home assistance of any kind make sure their jewelry, cash and other valuables are in a safe place away from reach. Never give a caregiver a credit card or ATM card to shop or get cash for a senior. Keep financial information, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers away from a caregiver’s or other stranger’s glance. The best way to do that is to remove all such papers from the senior’s home. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver. Visit your older loved one as regularly as you can to see firsthand how they are doing. Accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters. You can be there to protect them from outright theft and the problems they may get into if they are sold an unsuitable investment or insurance product like an annuity. 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 or elsewhere in 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.