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Dec 23, 2021 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Sentenced For Stealing $363,000 From Elderly Couple

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

1500 Unauthorized Transactions Discovered By Authorities

Caregiver Accessed Retirement, Checking And Savings Accounts

Elderly Husband And Wife Suffer From Alzheimer’s

Unscrupulous caregivers with access to a senior’s bank account information can, if undetected, execute unauthorized transfers and withdrawals and forge checks to drain those accounts for themselves.  Seniors with cognitive impairment are especially at risk as they may not be able to manage their own financial affairs any longer due to their condition. The theft of course is a crime but financial elder abuse itself is also a crime and basis for civil liability.  Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1).  Anyone who assists in any taking of cash or property from a senior also commits financial elder abuse.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(2).  Financial elder abuse is broadly defined under California law:

(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.

Financial abusers strike quickly when they obtain access to an older person’s cash, credit cards, checks, and financial information.  If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or anywhere in the Bay Area or throughout California, 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 Sentenced For Stealing $363,000 From Elderly Couple

In one recent case,[1] a caregiver has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for stealing $363,000 from an elderly husband and wife both suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  Authorities began their investigation and initially charged the caregiver after the couple’s son discovered unauthorized transactions when reviewing his parents’ accounts and contacted the police about it.  The local police then alerted the FBI to the case  The checking account charges were, it turned out, only the tip of the iceberg when the FBI concluded its investigation.  The police found that the caregiver of the elderly couple accessed their retirement and savings accounts too and had credit cards issued in their name which were then used for big-ticket purchases. According to an FBI affidavit, purchases included four cars, clothing, jewelry, restaurant meals, a Princess Cruise, a trip to Disneyland, breast augmentations, liposuction, gym memberships, meal-service subscriptions, carpeting, high-end mattresses, $18000 in athletic wear and $14,000 toward pet services.  In total, the FBI identified over 1500 authorized transactions totaling at least $363,000.  The family is also suing the bank where the checking account was maintained for failing to recognize red flags of abuse of the elderly accountholders.  Both the civil cases and criminal cases are pending.

Protecting Parents And Other Older Loved Ones

The family initially trusted the caregiver for the elderly couple in the case.  So much so, that the family had not monitored their parents’ accounts for the first two years the caregiver was employed.  When the family did take a look at the accounts, they were shocked at what had happened.  We recommend families keep an eye on older loved ones’ accounts as soon as any caregiver or stranger enters their older persons’ lives.  Financial predators act quickly and cash, credit cards, checks, and financial information should all be kept out of the reach of any caregiver or other stranger in the home.  Keep jewelry and valuable possessions in a safe place.  Take photographs of each room of the house so you can detect anything missing from the way the rooms used to be. Have financial statements mailed to your own address so others do not have access to you loved one’s business mail.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or nursing home staff member.  Do not allow a caregiver to take a credit card to go shopping or an ATM card to go get a senior some cash; you’re only asking for trouble if you do. Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.

Contact Us

If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in San Francisco, or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).  Ingrid pursues all available remedies for families and injured seniors against those responsible, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for the victim or his or her family. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.

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

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