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Jun 19, 2024 by |

Santa Clara County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Charged In Theft


Accused Of Unauthorized Use Seniors’ Debit Card

Withdrawals Recorded On Surveillance Cameras

Remedies For Seniors And Their Families

Unauthorized use of seniors’ credit and debit cards is a common type of fraud perpetrated on seniors by dishonest caregivers or other strangers with access to an elderly person’s cards.  Abusers may withdraw cash at ATMs or make unauthorized purchases at retail stores or online with the stolen cards. If a dishonest caregiver can get away with fraudulent use of cards or forging checks they may move on to online account access or other ways to steal even larger amounts than can be stolen with a check.  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. 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 has been the victim of financial elder abuse by a caregiver or other person in Santa Clara County, 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).

Caregiver Arrested For Fraud

In one reported case,[1]  a caregiver has been arrested and accused of stealing more than $10,000 from an elderly couple in a brazen spree of debit card theft. The caregiver was charged with financial elder abuse and unlawful use of a debit card after using the couple’s card 15 times across various convenience stores and ATMs in the area where the elderly couple lived. The multiple charges occurred in less than two weeks, according to authorities. The local Sheriff’s Office has taken to social media to air the crime details, urging the community to come forth with any information about similar financial crimes. The caregiver was identified through ATM surveillance photos by the most recent employer to entrust him with their trust mistakenly. The Sheriff’s Office believes the individual may have stolen from other seniors as well.  Charges are still pending and an investigation regarding other potential victims is ongoing.

Remedies For Victims

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 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.

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