Allegedly Forced Elderly Man To Withdraw Cash
Unauthorized Use Of Debit Card Alleged
How To Protect Older Loved Ones
Financial elder abuse of seniors ranges from secretive online money transfers to brazen theft or coercion of senior victims. While seniors can be victims of financial elder abuse from many quarters, among the most recurring financial predators are dishonest, in-home caregivers of isolated seniors. A recent case, discussed below, provides an example of more brazen acts of financial exploitations by a dishonest caregiver of an elderly man. Other dishonest caregivers are more subtle in their financial abuse and the abuse may go undetected for long periods if no one else is monitoring an older person’s account. Anonymous online access to a senior’s bank accounts is one avenue for this kind of abuse. Whatever the method, all wrongful takings of an older person’s money constitute financial elder abuse. Indeed, any taking of a senior’s property, or any assistance in that taking, is a crime and grounds for civil liability of the person doing the taking and anyone assisting him or her. 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:
(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 Woodside or elsewhere in San Mateo County or California, call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Alleged Caregiver Theft
In a recently reported case, a caregiver faces charges of financial exploitation of a senior and theft following an investigation by State authorities. Authorities reported that earlier this year, agents began investigating allegations surrounding a paid caregiver, after receiving information from the Department of Human Services. During the investigation, agents learned that caregiver allegedly instructed an elderly, vulnerable man in her care to withdraw money from his bank account for her benefit, and additionally used the victim’s debit card for unauthorized purchases. Following the investigation, agents secured warrants charging the suspect with Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult and Theft. Agents subsequently arrested her and the charges are pending.
Make sure any caregiver stays completely OUT of a senior’s financial business. Do not let them accompany your older loved one to the bank. YOU go with them. Keep confidential financial information out of reach for any caregiver in your older loved one’s home. Never let a caregiver know Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, PINs or any other confidential financial information of any kind. Regularly monitor all a senior’s accounts – not just the household checking account. Start your due diligence even before you get to the account monitoring stage. 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 a 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 in Woodside or anywhere else in California, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.