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Aug 19, 2022 by |

Santa Clara County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Caregiver Sentenced For Stealing Thousands From 88-Year-Old Assisted Living Facility Resident

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Allegedly Used Victim’s Money For Personal Expenses

Two-Year Investigation Conducted By Authorities

18 Month Prison Term, 10-Years Probation And Restitution

Residents of skilled nursing facilities and assisted care facilities are vulnerable to financial elder abuse just like those seniors who live in their homes under the care of an in-home caregiver.  Dishonest persons exist in both settings and may prey upon the elderly in both living situations.  In a recently reported case, discussed below, an assisted care facility staff member preyed on an elderly resident.  Whatever the setting, and whoever the actor, 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 Santa Clara County or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Caregiver Sentenced For Theft From Assisted Care Facility Resident

In a recently reported case, [1] a caregiver has been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution following a plea bargain on charges of stealing thousands of dollars from an 88-year-old assisted living facility resident.  In June 2019 law enforcement was notified about a caregiver at the assisted living facility allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from the resident.  A two-year investigation started. The Sheriff’s Office report on the case states the victim had $67,000 in his bank account when he moved into the assisted care facility. However, when deputies began their investigation, the man only had $10,000 left in his account. According to the arrest report, the caregiver used the money she took from the victim to pay for personal expenses.  The suspected caregiver was arrested and charged with various counts of theft and financial elder abuse.  She entered into a plea bargain agreement that ordered her to pay restitution and serve 18 months in prisons and a probation term of ten years. 

Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse

There are important steps to follow as well to prevent this kind of sustained financial abuse. Careful monitoring of a senior’s checking account – and close review of cancelled checks – may have caught the reported fraud in this case sooner than eight or nine months.  Always monitor a senior loved one’s checking account; take a look at it online every day if you can.  But start your due diligence sooner too.  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. 

Contact Us

If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one in Santa Clara County or anywhere else in the Bay Area or throughout the State of California, 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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