Allegedly Made 130 Unauthorized Transactions On Card
Over $20,000 In Unauthorized Charges
Allegedly Used Credit Card While Victim Hospitalized
Financial elder abuse of seniors by dishonest and greedy caregivers is one of the most pervasive forms of financial elder abuse. Reports of caregiver fraud and abuse appear almost every day in the news. Cash, checks, and credit cards within reach of dishonest caregivers are especially common methods of this abuse. Online access to accounts is another. Financial exploitation of dependent adults and seniors can happen very quickly. Sometimes, the amounts stolen start out small, and, if the caregiver believes he or she is getting away with their theft, increase over time. Whatever the form of financial elder abuse and whatever the amounts, any taking of a senior’s property, or 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 senior loved one has been the victim of any kind of elder abuse, including neglect, physical, emotional and financial elder abuse here in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
In one recently reported arrest, a caregiver was arrested for allegedly stealing more than $20,000 from an elderly patient. According to a criminal complaint, the caregiver took $24,763.18 from her senior victim’s debit card over the span of four months. The complaint said the victim told law enforcement that most of the 130 transactions were made while the victim was in the hospital. The caregiver was being paid $500/month to take care of the victim and take her to and from doctor appointments, according to the criminal complaint. She reportedly gained access to the victim’s debit and credit cards while she cared for the victim in her own home. Charges are still pending.
Protecting Older Loved Ones From Financial Elder Abuse
A caregiver, whether in a senior’s home or working in a facility, should never have access to a senior’s cash, checks, ATM cards or credit cards. Ever. Even if you consider the caregiver to be trustworthy, just don’t do it. You’re only asking for trouble. A dishonest caregiver or other stranger in a senior’s home will grab whatever they can get. Keep cash, checks and cards out of their reach. But don’t stop there in protecting your older loved one as online or phone access to accounts can also be a method for getting money. Regularly monitor all of a senior’s accounts; view account activity online every day if you can. Start your due diligence sooner too. Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them. Never, ever give a caregiver a Power of Attorney, ATM card, 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.
Ingrid M. Evans and Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their families in San Francisco and throughout California in bringing lawsuits against any persons or businesses responsible for the abuse. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in any way.