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Aug 14, 2022 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Sentenced For Theft of $35,000 From 94-Year-Old

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Falsified Checks And Time Cards

Caregiver Pleads Guilty

Five-Years Probation And Restitution Sentence

Whenever a dishonest stranger or caregiver enters an elderly person’s home there is a risk of theft.  Cash, checks and credit cards can disappear quickly.  It may be a one-time theft or a more sustained theft through writing checks or using credit cards repeatedly.  Whatever the “form” or frequency or size of financial elder abuse, 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 Sentenced For Falsifying Checks

In a recently reported case, [1] a caregiver has been sentenced to five years probation following her guilty plea to falsifying personal checks that she obtained for payment from a 94-year-old patient during a seven-month period.  According to court documents, a comparison between timecards and cashed checks showed that she fraudulently obtained $35,300 in excess payments from the victim.  Fortunately, the victim’s family noticed the discrepancies and alerted authorities who conducted an investigation that led to the arrest, guilty plea and sentencing of the caregiver.  But the report illustrates just how risky it is for checks to be accessible to a stranger in the home or nursing home room of an elderly person.  For this reason, we always recommend that you keep all cash, credit and ATM cards and checks in a safe place, far from the reach of any caregiver.  Also, you may want to put other valuables like jewelry and silver in a safe place too as those valuables can be quickly taken and pawned before an elderly victim is even aware they are missing. 

Protecting Senior Loved Ones From Financial Abuse

Always do a background check on any caregiver before he or she is hired.  Ask for references and check them.  Once the caregiver is on the job have the time cards sent to you so you can verify their accuracy. There are other important steps to follow as well to prevent more elaborate schemes of financial abuse. Careful monitoring of a senior’s checking account – and close review of cancelled checks – may have caught the reported fraud in this case sooner than eight or nine months.  Always monitor a senior loved one’s checking account; take a look at it online every day if you can.  But 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, 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. 

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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