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Jul 14, 2022 by |

San Mateo County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Charged With Stealing $91,000 From Elderly Woman

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Thefts Allegedly Occurred Over One-Year Period 

Theft And Forgery Alleged On 29 Checks

Greater Amount Stolen Alleged In Civil Elder Abuse Petition

Check forgeries are a common form of financial elder abuse. Whenever a dishonest caregiver or other stranger enters a senior’s home, accessible cash, checks, and credit cards provide an easy target.  Theft and forgery are crimes and when the victim is a senior such crimes are also criminal financial elder abuse and grounds for civil liability.  In fact, 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 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 Charged With Theft

In a recently reported case, [1] a caregiver has been arrested for allegedly stealing $91,000 from a 79-year-old woman over the course of a year, according to police, and was charged with theft, financial elder abuse and multiple counts of possessing forged instruments.  According to detectives, the caregiver stole 29 checks from the senior, forged the amounts and the elderly woman’s signature, and deposited them into her own bank account.  “The victim stated when she confronted [the caregiver] about the theft, the caregiver stated, ‘I thought you would be dead before anyone figured it out,'” according to a police affidavit.  A related petition for an elder abuse protection order filed by the elderly woman said the total amount stolen was $106,488.  According to the petition the caregiver recently returned to the alleged victim’s home “demanding items from the home and more money for caregiving services.”  According to the petition, the 79-year-old received a MetLife account and checkbook when her husband died.  The caregiver allegedly stole the checkbook from the home and wrote checks to herself until the account was at zero, according to the petition. According to the elder abuse petition, the elderly woman and relatives fear defendant will continue to visit the home in retaliation of the police report being made concerning the money.

Contact Us

Careful monitoring of all a senior’s accounts – not just the household checking account – may have caught the reported fraud in this case sooner than many months.  Start your due diligence even before you get to the account monitoring stage.  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.  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.  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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