The federal Elder Justice Act, enacted in 2010, defines financial exploitation of the elderly as, “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act . . . that uses the resources of an elder for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain, or that results in depriving an elder the rightful access to,
Financial exploitation occurs when a person misuses or takes the assets of a vulnerable adult for his/her own personal benefit. This frequently occurs without the explicit knowledge or consent of a senior or disabled adult, depriving him/her of vital financial resources for his/her personal needs.
However if the victim so chooses, and criminal charges are filed, financial elder abuse can lead to misdemeanor and felony charges. Misdemeanor convictions can lead to up to a year in jail , and a $1,000 fine. Felony convictions can result in up to four years in jail and fines up to $10,000.
If you want to report elder financial abuse , contact your local county APS Office (PDF). Abuse reports may also be made to you local law enforcement agency.
Examples include forgery, misuse or theft of money or possessions; use of coercion or deception to surrender finances or property; or improper use of guardianship or power of attorney.”
To prove there was a breach by the fiduciary or someone else, one or more of the following must be proven: Extensive withdrawal from monetary accounts. Increased or changed spending habits. Someone added to the senior’s financial accounts. Unpaid health care costs or no health care. Changes in the senior’s estate.
Types of financial abuse Borrowing money and not giving it back. Stealing money or belongings. Taking pension payments or other benefit away from someone. Taking money as payment for coming to visit or spending time together. Forcing someone to sell their home or assets without consent. Tricking someone into bad investments.
Financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability is: (1) a Class 4 felony if the value of the property is $300 or less, (2) a Class 3 felony if the value of the property is more than $300 but less than $5,000, (3) a Class 2 felony if the value of the property is $5,000 or more but less than
(11) “ Financial Exploitation ” means the illegal or improper use, control over, or withholding of the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the elderly person or the vulnerable adult by any person or entity for any person’s or entity’s profit or advantage other than for the elder person or the vulnerable
If you suspect someone of being financially abused, there are several actions you can take: Report the possible crime by calling your local Adult Protective Services and state attorney general’s office. Explore options at your local probate court if your state has such courts. Contact advocacy organizations.
Exploitation —Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property or assets of a vulnerable person. Identity theft is also considered a form of exploitation . Neglect—Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable person.
These crimes are now so widespread that elderly financial abuse is often called “the crime of the twenty-first century.” According to the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), one in nine seniors has reported being abused, neglected or exploited within the last year, and one in twenty seniors has
The FTC also compiles fraud reports at their Consumer Sentinel Network for national metropolitan statistical areas; scam prevalence by region; reports of fraud complaints from persons age 50 and older. National Institute of Justice site with research findings on elder financial abuse .
Cognitive decline is a key factor that makes the elderly more susceptible to financial exploitation . 19 Sometimes, diseases of the brain cause the cognitive decline. Yet the decline can occur even in the absence of disease. The aging brain is associated with a decline in something called fluid intelligence.
Become a “trusted contact” to monitor bank account and brokerage activity. Sign up for a service such as EverSafe to track financial activity and notify an advocate of unusual withdrawals or spending. Set up direct deposit for checks so others don’t have to cash them.