Skip to Content

PHONE: 415-441-8669 | TOLL FREE: 888-50EVANS

May 25, 2023 by |

Santa Clara County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Accountant Stole Over $1.6 Million From Elderly Client


Controlled 88-Year-Old Client’s Finances By Power Of Attorney

Unauthorized Transfers Of Money To Personal Accounts

Money Stolen Before And After Victim’s Death

Many incidents of financial elder abuse of a senior involve someone, like a caregiver or new or long lost “friend”, who moves in (sometimes, literally) and takes over the senior’s life and finances. However, seniors may also be victims of financial elder abuse by persons who have been associated with them for a long time and trusted such as accountants, trustees, financial advisors or bookkeepers.  In one reported case, discussed below, an 88-year-old woman’s longtime accountant stole from her for years and even stole from her estate after she died until her heirs caught up with him.  Any act of financial elder abuse perpetrated by anyone against an older person is a criminal act in itself (in addition to being a crime of theft or embezzlement for example) and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property and anyone assisting them.  Penal Code § 368 (crime of financial elder abuse); Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2)(definition of financial elder abuse including assisting in the abuse).  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 Santa Clara County or elsewhere in California, and we can help.

Accountant Found Guilty Of Embezzlement And Financial Elder Abuse[1]

In the case just alluded to, an accountant was found guilty of stealing more than $1.6 million from the estate of an elderly client as she descended into dementia.  He received a long jail sentence for his crimes. has been jailed for more than seven years.  According to court records, the accountant had more than 30 years professional experience, and was the accountant, held power of attorney and was eventually made the legal guardian of an 88-year-old woman with dementia.  According to authorities, when she became increasingly frail, he hired her in-home caregivers.  Prosecutors said for eight years before and after her death, the accountant was engaged in a “deliberate, concerted and persistent series of stealing” from the woman, transferring money from her accounts into his own, and his wife. Those thefts continued even after the victim’s death, when, according to police, another $318,000 was taken by the accountant as executor of her will – while the genuine beneficiaries of her estate were kept in the dark for seven months. After family members realized something was seriously amiss, they brought their suspicions to the authorities  And it was then that the accountant attempted to hide what the judge later described as his “systematic plundering” of the old woman’s money.

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse And Theft

This extraordinary case involved the theft of roughly $1.6 million over many years.  But wealthy seniors are by no means the only potential victims of financial elder abuse.  It can strike any senior, rich or poor, married or widowed, male or female.  Diligence in monitoring financial records and safeguarding checks, cash and credit cards and financial information are the best ways to prevent this sort of theft.  Frequent monitoring of an older loved one’s financial accounts – including checking where their Social Security and pension benefits are deposited – is the frontline of protecting your older loved one. Monitor all of a senior loved one’s bank accounts, investment accounts, IRAs, and credit card accounts online.  Caregivers and bookkeepers should never have access to cash, checks, ATM cards or credit cards. Audit the work done by any bookkeeper or trustee for the senior.  Trace income and expenses through all accounts and pay special attention to transfer out of their account to any other account.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or a bookkeeper or let a senior loved one open a joint account with anyone. 

Contact Us

Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away. Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in Santa Clara 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=””></a>. 

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

Law Dragons 500 badge Million Dollar Advocates Forum SuperLawyers Badge Best Lawyers Badge Avvo

Our Passion For Justice

415-441-8669 888-50EVANS

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"Contacted Ingrid on an elder financial abuse case - she was responsive, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. You can tell she is passionate about this area of law and has the experience to back it up. She is an excellent choice if you are looking for a results driven attorney and highly effective advocate."
Posted By: Anonymous

Read More Reviews