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Aug 10, 2022 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Home Health Care Provider Is Sentenced For Stealing More Than $1 Million From Two Elderly Clients

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Allegations of Overbilling And Double-Billing 

Billing For Services Never Provided

Unauthorized Purchases

Many of the reported cases of financial elder abuse of seniors that we discuss here occur at the hands of in-home caregivers.  A recently reported case by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) illustrates how agencies employing and assigning those caregivers can themselves financially exploit senior customers.  The details of the reported case are discussed below and show just how extensive financial exploitation of seniors can be when a dishonest agency manipulates its invoices and access to its clients’ bank accounts.  Any wrongful taking from a senior’s account 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 Agency Charged With Theft Of Over $1 Million

In a recently reported case by the IRS, [1] the owner of a home care agency was sentenced to 45 months in prison for stealing more than $1 million from two elderly clients and ordered to pay restitution.  According to the complaint, the agency was hired to provide daily care to two elderly people and then overcharged them by a million dollars which the government says the owner used to buy trucks, ATVs, expensive clothing and lavish vacations.  According to court documents, defendant did not provide two elderly clients (both close friends and one of whom suffered from dementia) with detailed invoices of her home health care services. Instead, authorities allege she orally informed on a weekly basis how much money she claimed she was owed and received checks in those amounts. Over time, the government alleged that defendant defrauded the elderly victims by overbilling them for services that were inflated or never provided; double-billing them for other services such as cleaning and moving that were either not provided or were provided by caregivers during hours already billed; and by billing at a higher rate than what had been agreed upon.  According to IRS court documents, from December 2018 through April 2020, defendant received $1,465,546.99 for home health care and other services allegedly rendered to the victims, the actual fair market value which was only $376,992.  According to the IRS, defendant thereby overcharged her elderly clients $1,088,554.99 for services that were never provided.

Contact Us

Always do a background check on any agency you hire and check their license status with the California Department of Health and Human Services.  Get references for the agency and check those out.  Ask for proof of insurance that the agency carries.  Have the agency send its invoices and statements to you so you can check to see whether they match the work actually being done for your loved on.   Never, ever give anyone at the agency a Power of Attorney, credit card, or a blank check.  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 and caregiver agencies.  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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