In-Home Caregiver Arrested
Accused Of Falsifying Checks
Police Say $35,000 Missing From Victim’s Accounts
The consequences of financial elder abuse on senior victims can be devastating. While financial elder abuse by a dishonest caregiver or other person with access to a senior’s finances may start out relatively small, the amounts stolen typically grow over time as the predator gets away with his or her theft. Left undetected, financial elder abuse can go on for years but for some victims the consequences are so severe and sudden that the theft is known right away. Some elderly victims are driven to the brink of homelessness due to lack of funds to pay their rent. There are instances where, when the senior owns his or her own home, a financial predator may try and take a senior’s home away from them even during their life or encumber it with debt the victim cannot repay. Whatever the timing or form of financial elder abuse and whatever the amounts, 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 Mateo County or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Caregiver Accused Of Falsifying Checks
In one reported case,  a caregiver has plead guilty to grand larceny in a case involving the caregiver’s alleged fraud against a 94-year-old woman for whom the caregiver acted as an in-home health aide. According to the District Attorney prosecuting the case, the caregiver falsified personal checks she received from the victim as payment for services provided over a seven-month period. Police compared the timecards and cashed checks and determined that the caregiver had obtained $35,3000 in excess payments from the victim in just a matter of months.
Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse
A caregiver should never have access to a senior’s cash, checks, PINs, ATM cards or credit cards. Ever. Even if you consider the caregiver to be trustworthy, just don’t do it. You’re only asking for trouble. A dishonest caregiver or other stranger in a senior’s home will grab whatever they can get. Keep cash, checks and cards out of their reach. But don’t stop there in protecting your older loved one as online or phone access to accounts can also be a method for getting money. Regularly monitor all of a senior’s accounts; view account activity online every day if you can. 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, ATM card, 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.
If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in San Mateo County or anywhere else in the San Francisco 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.