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Feb 15, 2022 by |

San Mateo County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Bookkeeper Arrested For Stealing From 92-Year-Old Client

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Accusations Of Altered Checks 

Victim’s Daughter Discovers Irregularities

Defendant Faces Up To 15 Years In Prison

In California a professional fiduciary that is licensed, bonded and insured is often a preferable choice when a senior needs help keeping up with finances and no trusted family member can do the job.  While licensed, bonded and insured professional fiduciaries charge higher rates than unlicensed, self-proclaimed “bookkeepers” the extra money may be worth it.  Others may take advantage of access to a senior’s finances for their own benefit.  All acts of financial elder abuse are criminal and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property ad anyone assisting them.  Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2).  Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents victims of financial elder abuse from any source, be it caregivers, trustees, bookkeepers, persons with Powers of Attorney and others, and pursues all remedies available under the law.  Call us today at (415)441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267) if any senior loved one has suffered any kind of financial elder abuse in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California, and we can help.

Recent Bookkeeper Arrest For Financial Elder Abuse

One recent arrest illustrates how a bookkeeper may financially exploit an older person.[1] In the case, a bookkeeper allegedly stole more than $60,000 from a 92-year-old woman who paid the defendant to act as her bookkeeper and pay her bills.  According to the DA, the defendant bookkeeper was altering checks signed by her elderly client and adding the word “hundred” to the amount line and adding two extra zeros to the numerical account.  If the elderly woman signed a check for $25.00, the DA said defendant would change it to $2,500.  A total of $60,400 in altered checks were allegedly deposited into the defendant’s bank account. The elderly woman’s daughter eventually found out money was missing when she asked about her mother’s finances.  She contacted the authorities who then conducted an investigation that led to the charges and arrest.  The case is pending.

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse And Theft

Fortunately, the victim’s daughter in  the reported case alerted the police when she noticed money missing from accounts before the amount taken grew any larger.  Financial predators rarely stop their schemes on their own if they are getting away with their theft.  Monitoring an older loved one’s financial accounts is one way to protect the senior. Monitor all of a senior loved one’s bank accounts, investment accounts, IRAs, and credit card accounts online.  Audit the work done by any bookkeeper or trustee for the senior.  Trace any senior’s income and expenses through all accounts and pay special attention to transfer out of their account to any other account.  We have seen many instances where a caregiver or other persons sets up a joint or separate account and siphons a senior’s money into that account for their own use. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or a bookkeeper.  Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in San Mateo County and throughout California who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse.  Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267), or email us at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. 

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

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