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Dec 3, 2023 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Arrested For Theft

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Allegedly Accessed Elderly Victim’s PIN

Funds Missing From Victim’s Bank Account

Fraudulent ATM Withdrawals, Transfers And Purchases Alleged

A recently reported case, discussed below, illustrates what can happen when a dishonest caregiver discovers an older person’s debit/ATM card PIN.  We often write about unauthorized debit and credit card use as a form of financial elder abuse of older persons.  We cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of keeping debit, ATM and credit cards out of reach of caregivers together with ALL financial information – Social Security numbers, PINS, account numbers, credit card numbers, and checks.  Access to cards and checks and financial information can be the gateway to serious economic loss.  Any taking of a senior’s property and 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 San Francisco or elsewhere in the Bay Area or throughout 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 a recently reported case, [1] a home healthcare worker was arrested and charged with grand theft and theft from a person over 65 after allegedly using the debit card of a man who employed her as a caregiver.  According to police, the suspect was a contractor for an agency that provides caregivers, and one of their clients reported a large amount of money missing from his bank account in November 2022. The agency told the local Police Department officer that the suspect was one of two caregivers who had worked with the victim during that time period; caregivers sometimes take clients to the store, but the client is supposed to be with the caregiver at all times to purchase any items. The victim reported that cash withdrawals were made from an ATM, Amazon purchases were made; and four CashApp transactions were made using his debit/ATM card.  A detective requested surveillance video from the ATM location and reportedly saw that the suspect had used the debit card once while in the store with the victim and then had used it by herself. The caregiver reportedly told police that she learned the victim’s PIN number the first time she went to the grocery store with him.  

Protecting Care Facility Residents From Abuse

Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them.  Never allow a caregiver access to checks, cash or credit cards or PINs.  Even if you have checks and cards 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. 

Contact Us

If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in San Francisco 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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