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Feb 28, 2022 by |

Santa Clara County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Accused Of Stealing More Than $73,000 From Patient

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Thefts Allegedly Occurred Over Two-Year Period

Unauthorized Use Of Debit Card And Online Transfers

Police Review Surveillance Videos From Lottery Parlor

Older victims lose more than $3 billion annually as a result of financial elder abuse, according to FBI and National Institute of Justice statistics. As many as one in 10 vulnerable adults are potential targets, according to federal officials, and their financial predators are most often caregivers or other persons in close proximity to their victims.  While theft from any person is a crime, when the victim is over 65 any theft is also criminal financial elder abuse and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property.  Anyone assisting in financial elder abuse, even if another person is the one who physically takes the elder’s property, also commits financial elder abuse and is responsible for the property taken.   Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2).  If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse by a caregiver or other person in Santa Clara County or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669.  We will pursue all persons responsible for a senior’s injury. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Caregivers Arrested For Theft From Patient

In one recently reported case,[1]  a caregiver has been arrested and accused of stealing more than $73,000 from her patient.  The caregiver reportedly accessed the victim’s bank account and checkbooks to swindle the funds over the course of the past two years, according to a court document.  The elderly victim told police that she had recently discovered a number of fraudulent charges to her bank account. A security feature built into her checking account only allowed for transfers when that account balance dropped to a certain amount, and the victim told police that she believed there should have been “a significant amount more” in that account than required for the transfer. After requesting all account statements from 2020 and 2021, the victim told police that she found more than $73,000 in fraudulent charges in that time frame, the court document stated.  Most of those charges were made with the use of a debit card that the victim said she never used, and had never activated. The victim said she had received the debit card in the mail and “had not seen it in years.”  The caregiver allegedly activated the card online.  Other fraudulent charges were reportedly made with forged checks out of the same account.  Officers located video surveillance from several local businesses — including two lottery parlors — and identified the caregiver as the suspect.  She is awaiting trial on charges of theft, financial elder abuse, computer crime and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse And Theft

Any senior, like the victim in the reported case, is vulnerable to theft when strangers are working in his or her home as caregivers or doing any other kind of work.  If your older loved one has in-home assistance of any kind make sure their credit and debit cards, jewelry, cash and other valuables are in a safe place away from reach.  If a senior has any cards that they never use, destroy them and alert the relevant bank or credit card company that the card is discontinued. Never give a caregiver a credit card or ATM card to shop or get cash for a senior. Keep financial information, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers away from a caregiver’s or other stranger’s glance.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver.  Visit your older loved one as regularly as you can to see firsthand how they are doing.  Accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters.  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 Santa Clara County or elsewhere in 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. was not involved in the reported case in any way.

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