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Jun 16, 2024 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Fraud On 93-Year-Old


Caregiver Allegedly Stole Checkbook

680,000 Claims Of Check Fraud Annually Nationwide

Remedies For Seniors And Their Families

Stolen and forged checks is a recurring form of financial elder abuse.  We have seen many cases where a dishonest caregiver, stepchild, “friend,” or other person with access to an older person’s checks writes checks to themselves or convinces the elder to sign blank checks which the predators then make out to themselves.  The Office of Comptroller of the Currency recently reported that in 2022 there were 680,000 claims of suspected check fraud in the United States, more than double the number reported in the previous year.  Theft by stolen or forged or altered checks by any person is a crime, but when the victim is over 65 the theft constitutes criminal 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).  California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder 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 has been the victim of financial elder abuse by a caregiver or other person in San Francisco, 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). 

Caregiver Arrested For Fraud

In one reported case,[1]  a 93-year-old holocaust survivor lost thousands of dollars after her caregiver allegedly stole her check book.  The victim did not even sign some of the checks that were deposited yet the bank refused to refund her money when she first reported it. She said she felt betrayed by her caregiver of 3 months, who is accused of stealing $5,500. The woman allegedly took the elder’s checkbook and started cashing fraudulent checks. In total, nine checks without the victim’s signature were allegedly cashed by the caregiver. The victim did not notice the missing money right away, something that made it difficult to get reimbursed. She was initially only able to get two of the checks refunded by her bank because 30 days had already passed since the first seven were cashed.  “I said, ‘Look, I’m 93-years-old, and I have been with your bank for 40 years. I think I know how to deal but I never knew how to deal with people who steal,” the victim said. The bank reportedly later agreed to reimburse all of her checks.  Charges are pending against the caregiver.

Remedies For Victims

Any senior, like the victim in the reported case, is vulnerable to theft when strangers are working in his or her home as caregivers or doing any other kind of work.  If your older loved one has in-home assistance of any kind make sure their credit and debit cards, jewelry, cash and other valuables are in a safe place away from reach.  If a senior has any cards that they never use, destroy them and alert the relevant bank or credit card company that the card is discontinued. 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.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or give a caregiver or anyone else a blank check.  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.  Most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in San Francisco 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=””></a>. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the reported case in any way.

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