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Aug 7, 2022 by |

Santa Clara County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver And Her Partner Charged With Stealing $130,000 From Blind Elderly Woman With Dementia

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

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Out Of State Family Members Alerted Authorities 

Fraudulent Power Of Attorney

Dishonest caregivers can be relentless in their efforts to steal from the elderly.  A recent case, discussed below, illustrates just how persistent a caregiver can be in taking a senior’s property.  The case also illustrates how partners or any others assisting in the talking can also be charged with financial elder abuse and sued for damages in a civil lawsuit.  Any wrongful takings of a senior’s property, or any assistance in that taking, whether by use of a fraudulent power of attorney, theft of cash, theft by check forgery or altered checks, or unauthorized use of credit or debit cards or online money transfers out of a senior’s accounts are crimes 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. If you or a loved one is a victim of elder or dependent adult abuse or neglect in Santa Clara 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 And Her Partner Charged With Theft

In a recently reported case, [1] the caregiver of an elderly person who is legally blind and has dementia, along with her partner, is accused of stealing approximately $130,000 from her. The two are facing multiple counts of financial exploitation of the elderly.  The victim’s relatives alerted police to the situation after they received a call from her investment advisor.  According to the advisor, he had received a call from the woman who said she wanted to withdraw $40,000 from her investment account. The advisor would later tell investigators he could hear a female voice in the background telling the woman what to say and how to answer his questions.  The advisor told the lady she would have to come into the office to make any withdrawals. 

The following day the woman, who was in a wheelchair, arrived accompanied by the caregiver. He told her she would have to wait outside because his discussion with his client was confidential. When she left, the advisor asked the woman about her strange behavior on the phone call. She told him she was fine and didn’t need to withdraw any money. Three days later, the caregiver reportedly returned, without the woman, and presented the advisor with a “Power of Attorney.” She sought to withdraw the funds on behalf of the woman, according to the state attorney’s office, but the adviser told her that even with power of attorney, the woman would still have to be present for her to withdraw the funds.  The advisor later contacted the woman’s family about what had occurred. They contacted relatives who live near the victim and they went to check on her. According to the state attorney’s office, they found the woman awake, but disoriented, and covered in urine and feces. The woman was taken to the hospital to be checked out.   According to police, an investigation revealed extensive financial activity within the woman’s accounts, with the money allegedly going into accounts controlled by the caregiver.

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Always do a background check on anyone you hire as a caregiver; get references and call them.  Make sure any caregiver is denied access to any back account information; keep cash, checks and credit and debit cards out of reach.  Never, ever give a caregiver or “helper” or other new “friend” a Power of Attorney, credit card, or a blank check.  Never, ever, add a caregiver as an authorized signer on a checking account.  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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