Craigslist Caregiver Allegedly Stole From 89-Year-Old
Unauthorized Checks And ATM Withdrawals
Allegations of Financial And Physical Abuse
References and background checks of persons hired as in-home caregivers are essential steps when a senior needs in-home care. The risks of what can go wrong when a total stranger enters a dependent senior’s life really cannot be overstated. Financial elder abuse ranges from outright theft of cash, jewelry, checks, credit cards, or other property, obtaining phone or online access to a senior’s bank account, redirecting Social Security or other benefit checks or elaborate schemes to re-write a senior’s estate plan to benefit the caregiver. Large or small, every time a senior’s property is taken for a wrongful use it’s an act of financial elder abuse. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(1). Anyone who assists in the wrongful taking of a senior’s property also commits financial elder abuse. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(a)(2). California law broadly defines financial elder 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 suspect financial abuse of an older loved one in Sonoma County or elsewhere in California by a caregiver or anyone else, call Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Example Of Caregiver Theft And Abuse
The reported arrest of a caregiver for financial elder abuse of an incapacitated 89-year-old man shows just how far an unscrupulous caregiver may go in their theft. In the case, the victim hired an unlicensed caregiver off Craigslist who moved in at once and over the next four years allegedly stole thousands of dollars from the man until her fraud was discovered. Police reports reveal that the incapacitated senior was convinced to buy cars for the caregiver and her daughter, pay the daughter’s apartment rent in another state, pay thousands of dollars for dental work for the caregiver and pay for her to go visit her daughter out of state on several occasions. Reports also reveal that the caregiver wrote 26 checks to herself off the senior’s checking account and another eight unauthorized checks to her daughter. She also allegedly used the victim’s ATM card and video from the ATM shows her pocketing the money. Whenever she asked the victim for more money and he refused, she would slap him in the face according to the police reports.
This same, terrible pattern of facts occurs all too often. 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 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. If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one, 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 email@example.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.