Victim’s Friend Notices Missing Cash
Allegedly Taken Over A Four-Day Period
Full Restitution And Prison Sentence
Accessible cash is often the first thing a dishonest caregiver may take if they’re working in a senior’s home. Whenever a dishonest caregiver or other stranger enters a senior’s home, cash and other property such as credit and debit cards and ATM cards, checks, and jewelry or other valuables all provide easy targets. This is especially true if the senior is confined to bed or one room of the home or otherwise unable to know what is going on around them. 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 loved one is a victim of elder or dependent adult abuse or neglect 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).
Caregiver Pleads Guilty To Theft
In one reported case,a caregiver plead guilty to stealing $50,000 in cash from an elderly person’s in-home safe. We have seen instances of stolen cash from safes and lockers in financial elder abuse cases the firm handles. Older persons may have a habit of keeping large sums of cash in safes or “hidden” places and once a dishonest caregiver or other stranger has access and time the money disappears. In the reported case, the suspect worked as a home healthcare aide for an elderly person. A friend of the senior’s noticed that $50,000 in cash was missing from the senior’s in-home safe and was able to narrow down the timeframe for the alleged theft. Police were notified and arrested the caregiver who plead guilty to the theft and is awaiting sentencing.
Protecting Seniors From Financial Elder Abuse
The reported case demonstrates just how risky it is if a senior with an in-home caregiver keeps any cash in a safe or other place which the senior thinks is “safe” or “hidden” in the house. Given enough time and access, an unscrupulous caregiver is likely to find the money. Remove the cash before any caregiver ever enters the home and it’s one less thing to worry about. But even if you remove cash, be sure to keep an eye on bank accounts and credit cards. Careful monitoring of all a senior’s accounts – not just the household checking account – may have caught the reported fraud in this case sooner than many months. Start your due diligence even before you get to the account monitoring stage. 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, 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.
If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one, 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 email@example.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.