Allegations Of Unauthorized Credit Card Use And Forgery
Family Discovers Financial Irregularities
Caregiver Allegedly Increased Reverse Mortgage Balance
As we have written before, every time a stranger or caregiver enters the home of an elderly person there is a risk of financial elder abuse. We have seen cases where the amounts stolen were relatively small to cases where a caregiver attempted to take everything an elderly person had. Sometimes the schemes continue for years because no one is monitoring a senior’s accounts, and the financial elder abuse is not discovered until after the senior dies. Financial elder abuse is a crime and grounds for a civil lawsuit for damages under California law. See Cal. Penal Code § 368 (crime of elder abuse) and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse for civil liability). Wherever the financial abuse occurs and whoever the responsible parties are, Evans Law Firm. Inc. can represent victims and their families, and pursue all persons responsible, including the owners, administrators and staff directly responsible or as supervisors with a duty to protect residents from any kind of abuse. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Santa Cruz or anywhere in the Bay Area or throughout California, call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Caregiver Arrested For Alleged Theft
In one reported caregiver case, an in-home caregiver has been arrested on allegations she stole nearly $100,000 from a California couple in their 90s. The couple, a 98-year-old woman and her 92-year-old husband, employed the suspect as a caregiver for about six months, when the couple’s family found financial irregularities and fired her, police said. “The family discovered the problem when they started getting bounced check notifications from the bank,” police said. “They started looking into it and realized the entire savings was gone.” The caregiver allegedly used the couple’s credit cards and also spent their money to hire her own family members for housekeeping work, according to authorities. In addition, the caregiver allegedly increased the couple’s reverse-mortgage payments to help disguise the effects of her spending. “They had just barely enough to keep their own finances going,” according to a police detective in the case. Police allege that the caregiver basically took over the elderly couple’s finances, and took almost $100,000 from them during her six months of employment.
Preventing Caregiver Theft
If you have an older loved one under the care of an in-home caregiver, make sure they don’t have any accessible cash, checks or credit cards accessible to the aides who enter the home. Keep all jewelry and valuable personal possessions like silver or other valuable objects in a safe place too. Monitor credit cards and bank accounts online as frequently as possible. Have financial statements and important papers mailed to your own address so others do not have access to you loved one’s business mail. Also, make sure that financial information like account numbers and Social Security numbers are kept away from a caregiver’s glance. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or nursing home staff member. Accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters. You can be there to protect them from outright theft and the problems they may get into if they are sold an unsuitable investment or insurance product like an annuity. Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.
If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in Santa Cruz County, or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). Ingrid pursues all available remedies for families and injured seniors against those responsible.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.