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Feb 1, 2022 by |

Santa Cruz County Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys: Financial Advisor Stole $668,000 From 73-Year-Old Client

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Used Joint Account To Steal

Advisor Transferred Money To Joint Account

60 Withdrawals For Advisor’s Benefit Totaling $668,000

Caregivers, financial advisors and others often cultivate a personal relationship with a senior deliberately in order to take advantage of the closeness and the sense of dependence and trust such closeness produces.  When those persons use that closeness to take a senior’s property it is financial elder abuse which is itself a crime.  One way financial predators financially exploit seniors is by convincing them to open joint accounts which the predator can access for his or her own benefit.  Whatever scheme a financial predator uses, financial elder abuse is grounds for civil liability under the Elder Abuse Act.  See Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse).  Anyone assisting in the financial abuse is also responsible for their actions.  The definition of financial elder abuse under the Act reads:

(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.

Relief for the victim includes mandatory awards of attorneys’ fees and expenses in financial elder abuse cases.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.  If you or a loved one is a victim of financial elder abuse in Santa Cruz County or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Financial Advisor Sentenced For Theft From Joint Account

In a recently announced criminal sentencing,[1] a financial advisor will serve more than two years in prison after stealing more than $668,000 from a 73-year-old female investor over the course of several years.  According to the Justice Department, the advisor started offering investment services to the unnamed victim, who opened at least five investment accounts with the advisor and eventually opened a joint bank account with him.  According to the criminal complaint, the advisor told the client that the funds in the joint account would be used for her benefit.  Investigators discovered that the advisor made more than 60 transfers from the client’s accounts into the joint account, totaling more than $668,000, most of which the advisor then withdrew for himself according to the government. The government also alleged that on two occasions the advisor paid his own credit card bills from the client’s account.  According to the DOJ, the advisor cultivated a personal friendship with the elderly client, often driving her to appointments, running errands and visiting her multiple times a week.

Monitor Your Older Loved One’s Accounts

This case illustrates how important it is to stay involved in a senior’s life and prevent them from becoming victims to strangers but also advisors who have worked for the senior for years.  Never let a senior loved one open a joint account with an advisor or caregiver.   Accompany your older loved ones whenever they meet anyone on business matters. Review bank records and bills continually online.  Never ever allow the senior to give a financial advisor, caregiver, care facility employee or a stranger or new “advisors” a Power of Attorney.  If you suspect abuse, call elder law counsel to help you pursue all available remedies against anyone responsible for abuse, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your suit under Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents victims of financial elder abuse, and their families and heirs, here in Santa Cruz County or elsewhere in California.  If you need help, call us today at 415-441-8669 or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Ingrid will pursue all remedies available against the agent, including attorneys’ fees and expenses for the older person required to bring an action based on the agent’s wrongful conduct.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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