Caregiver Allegedly Stole From 95-Year-Old Patient
Accused Of Cashing Forged Checks
Bank Employee Reports Suspicious Activity
Whenever a caregiver or other stranger is in a senior’s home there is a very real danger of theft, whether the caregiver comes through an agency or is a direct hire. The risk is present whether the elder and his or her family goes through an agency or hires an individual caregiver directly. Whether you hire directly or through an agency always run a background check on any individual before they enter your older loved one’s home and always ask for and check references on them. Caregiver fraud is financial elder abuse, which is itself a crime and grounds for civil liability against the person who took the property and anyone assisting them. Penal Code § 368; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1) and (2). Financial elder abuse is broadly defined under California law:
(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 in Sonoma County or throughout California, 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 Theft
In a reported arrest, a caregiver was arrested on suspicion of financial elder abuse and forgery after she allegedly stole about $20,000 from an elderly man in her care. According to police, the suspect worked as an in-home caregiver for the 95-year-old man. She is accused of taking several personal checks from the man, writing them out to herself, and cashing or depositing them. Police say the total loss is believed to be about $20,000. Police were made aware of the situation by a bank employee who reported suspicious activity had occurred in an account belonging to the man. The caregiver was employed by an in-home caregiver agency at the time of the alleged criminal acts.
Protecting Older Loved Ones
As mentioned above, always do a background check on any person before hiring them as a caregiver, even if you are working through an agency. Get references and check them. Once the caregiver is in the home, keep an eye on all of your older loved ones’ accounts. Change the mailing address for bank statements so that they come to you instead of the older person’s home where strangers can see account numbers. Do not allow any caregiver access to cash, credit cards, checks, and financial information. Keep jewelry, guns, silver and other valuable possessions in a safe place. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or nursing home staff member. Do not allow a caregiver to take a credit card to go shopping or an ATM card to go get a senior some cash; you’re only asking for trouble if you do. 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 Sonoma 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, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for the victim or his or her family. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. is not involved in the case in any way.