Online Bank Transfers From Victim’s Account
Police Say Victim Abandoned For Hours
Victim Found Wandering Far From Home
No one should ever let a stranger in their home. Particularly if you are an older person living alone. If you need in-home help, thoroughly vet the individual before he or she ever enters the home. Ask for references and check them personally. A dishonest stranger posing as a caregiver can rapidly take advantage of an isolated senior once he or she enters a senior’s home and life. When a dishonest caregiver is more intent on stealing from a senior than caring for them, the senior can be a victim of the most horrendous physical abuse, neglect or abandonment as the case discussed below illustrates. Whenever a dishonest caregiver or other stranger enters a senior’s home, credit and debit cards and ATM cards, checks and entire check registers, accessible cash, and jewelry or other valuables provide an easy target. 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 by persons wrongfully taking a senior’s property and anyone assisting them:
(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 Sonoma or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Arrest For Financial Elder Abuse And Abandonment
Adult Protective Services (APS) working with a local Sheriff’s office has arrested a caregiver for financial elder abuse and abandonment of an 87-year-old woman with dementia. An APS agent contacted deputies after finding evidence that the elderly woman’s caretaker had stolen thousands of dollars from her. Bank records corroborated the agent’s claims, with over $900,000 being transferred into the suspect’s account since March of last year. The bank had previously contacted APS in 2019 with similar concerns over money transfers to the suspect’s account. The agent also believed that the caretaker was abandoning and neglecting the woman, who has dementia, for extended periods of time. Investigators say the woman and her caretaker were homeless, and often spent the night at motels across the county. Police records show that the woman was found wandering in the middle of the road on multiple occasions. The caregiver was often absent when police returned the woman to her room, according to court records. The case against the caregiver is still pending.
Protecting Older Loved Ones
Sadly, it appears that the victim in the reported story had no family or friends checking on her. If you have an older loved one in your family, don’t neglect them but stay active in their life. Run background checks on anyone working for them in their home. Secure the senior’s finances by monitoring the transaction activities of their electronic accounts. Create a new password and keep all log in information safe from wandering eyes. Do not let a caregiver know, or have access to, a senior’s Social Security Number or bank account numbers. Redirect mail to your own home so that a caregiver cannot rummage through a senior’s mail. You may also switch to paperless statements for everything and have them sent to you, not to any email address or app the caregiver can access. As you monitor accounts, indicators of unusual activity include new and increasing charges and missing monthly deposits. Remember that a senior’s finances are none of a caregiver’s business; they are there just to take care of a senior, not to pry into personal, financial, or family affairs. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or a bookkeeper. Accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters.
Ingrid M. Evans represents elder and dependent adults in Sonoma and throughout California who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse. Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267), or email us at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.