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May 31, 2022 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Former Insurance Agent Allegedly Steals Nearly $50,000 From Elderly Clients

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Former Agent Accused Of Stealing From Older Clients

One Victim’s Family Member Alerts Authorities

Withdrawals And Surrenders From Annuities

Financial predators on seniors include in-home caregivers, insurance agents and other salespeople, bankers, trustees, conservators, financial advisors, brokers, contractors, second spouses, and girlfriends or boyfriends.  All seniors are potential victims.  Sometimes, the abuse is straight out theft of cash or valuables and sometimes the abuse is a more complicated scheme, as the recent case against an insurance agent, discussed below, illustrates.  Whatever the form or amount, financial elder abuse is a crime and a basis for civil lawsuits to recover from the abuser.  See Cal. Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse for civil liability).  Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents seniors here in San Francisco and throughout California who suffer financial elder abuse at the hands of insurance agents, caregivers or others who have defrauded a senior or have misused their access to a senior’s money and taken money for themselves.  If you or an older loved one have been the victim of financial elder abuse call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Insurance Agent Charged With Theft From Elderly Clients

In one recently reported case,[1] a former licensed insurance agent has been arraigned on five felony counts of theft from an elder. This comes after the former agent allegedly acted as a financial advisor and licensed insurance agent to steal over $47,950 from elderly clients.

“Theft of any kind will not be tolerated. It is heartbreaking to think that people prey on the elderly to allegedly steal from their hard-earned nest eggs,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. The California Department of Insurance began an investigation after being contacted by a family member of one of the agent’s clients when they learned their elderly parents had withdrawn cash on 12 separate occasions from several annuities to personally loan Armstrong more than $47,950.  The investigation also found that the agent allegedly convinced his clients to withdraw funds from one annuity and then months later purchase a new annuity, hiding that the source of funds was from a terminated annuity, resulting in his clients incurring more than $24,000 in surrender charges.

To hide his alleged scheme, the agent allegedly provided a life insurance policy number to his clients as “financial collateral” where he listed them as beneficiaries on a $500,000 policy, which did not actually exist. He also made numerous false claims regarding the return on their investment, including making more than their money back on huge losses incurred by multiple surrender charges on their existing annuities.

The agent, whose insurance license has been revoked, is awaiting trial.

Protecting Yourself And Older Loved Ones

The insurance agent in the reported case perpetrated his alleged fraudulent schemes for several years.  Fortunately, a family member of one of his victims reported suspicious activity to the authorities.  To safeguard your older loved one from financial abuse, review all financial records and bills continually.  Do a background check on any new advisors or any caregiver you allow in their home to help them.  Accompany older loved ones to any meetings they have with insurance agents, financial advisors, or planners.  Discourage them from attending free lunch seminars and other high-pressure sales gatherings.  Most importantly – never ever allow the senior to give a caregiver, insurance agent or advisor a Power of Attorney or a blank check.  If you suspect abuse, call elder law counsel to help you pursue all available remedies against anyone responsible for abuse, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your suit.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

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

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