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Sep 28, 2023 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Arrested For Stealing From Disabled Patient

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Six Felony Counts Brought Against Former Caregiver

77-Year-Old Disabled Victim

Credit Cards Allegedly Used For Rent, Jewelry And Car Downpayment

Unauthorized use of credit cards is a common type of fraud perpetrated on seniors by dishonest caregivers or other strangers with access to a senior’s cards.  Dishonest caregivers use a stolen card rapidly and can run up substantial charges in a very short time.  Left undetected, the illegal credit card use may continue for months, as a recent case discussed below illustrates.  Unauthorized credit card use constitutes a taking of a senior’s property, and is criminal and civil financial elder abuse. 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 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 Alleged Theft

In one recently reported case, [1] a home healthcare was arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from a disabled, elderly patient.  According to the local Sheriff’s Office, the arrested caregiver stole from a 77-year-old man for months while working for him.  The sheriff’s office first learned of the allegations in the Spring and began their investigation at that time.  The caregiver was charged with six counts of felony exploitation and intimidation of a disabled adult, elder person.  Deputies said the individual was stealing from her client while caring for him at his home.  All told, the caregiver allegedly stole more than $17,000 from her client, using his credit and debit cards to pay for her rent, jewelry, and down payments on her car.  Deputies said the investigation is ongoing.

Protecting Care Facility Residents From Abuse

Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them.  The horror of this case illustrates just how vulnerable an elderly or disabled person is to any attack.  Visit any loved one under the care of an in-home caregiver as frequently as you can to determine if they are being abused, intimidated, frightened or neglected by any one in the home.  If your loved one has multiple caregivers, interview each of them about whether they think there may be a problem.  In the reported case, two of the man’s caregivers helped him tell authorities what had happened to him.  Never allow a caregiver access to checks, cash or credit cards.  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.  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 the San Francisco Bay Area or anywhere else in the 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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