Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

February 27, 2011

Local Triad Group Helps Seniors Protect Themselves (USA)

By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
February 24, 2011

The threats to senior citizens are everywhere – from investment scams to abuse by caregivers or family members and from identity theft to “grandchildren” scams. Add the fact that this generation was raised to trust in their fellow man and honor their obligations and you get a particularly vulnerable population.

In an effort to diffuse the fear and uncertainty associated with growing old in today’s challenging world, a new local partnership known as Triad has been formed between Carlton County law enforcement, older adults and the community at large. The name reflects the three-part nature of the organization and is not meant to be an acronym, though many who are associated with it also claim the name stands for “The Right Information and Direction.”
Triad is a national program designed to help reduce criminal victimization of the elderly and operates on the principle that the goal can best be met through a cooperative effort.
“When the idea was first brought up,” said Deb Lindamood, program director of Volunteer Services of Carlton County, “we turned to our senior volunteers to kind of help build the local program. It took off from there, and we continue to lend support to it. So far, it’s been a great marriage partnership.”
A kick-off event was hosted by Atkins-Northland Funeral Home last fall and attended by some 100 people. Since that time the group has held three meetings in various locations around the county, appointed a board of directors and elected officers. Attendance at the meetings has varied depending on location and has averaged some 15-25 people.

The local Triad group meets the first Wednesday of each month, and the next meeting is slated for 10 a.m. March 2 at the Carlton County Transportation Building, 1630 County Road 61, Carlton. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call Lake at 218-384-3236 or Volunteer Services of Carlton County, Inc. at 218-879-9238. 

SOURCE:     The Pine Journal

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Woman Pleads Guilty to Assaulting 94-Year-Old Grandmother (USA)

Woman pleads guilty to assaulting grandmother in Hemet home
February 24, 2011

According to Hemet police investigators, when the senior citizen opened the door, her granddaughter, April Courtney, yanked her aluminum cane away and began thrashing her with it. The victim was hit around 20 times in the head and body.
A woman who broke into her 94-year-old grandmother’s Hemet home and beat her with a cane pleaded guilty today to burglary and elder abuse.
April Courtney, 36, had been slated to go on trial for the Sept. 3, 2008, attack, but at the last minute worked out a plea deal with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
In return for her plea, prosecutors dropped a charge of attempted murder. In addition to the burglary and elder abuse counts, the defendant admitted guilt to sentence-enhancing allegations of using a weapon during a felony and inflicting great bodily injury on a person over 70 years old.
She could face 15 years in state prison, with sentencing slated for June 10 in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Dennis McConaghy.


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February 24, 2011

Merced Man Lived With Dead Uncle; Charged With Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

Merced man lived with dead uncle; charged with elder abuse
February 22, 201

 A Merced County man could face murder charges after sheriff's deputies found his uncle dead. A paper trail shows he spent the dead man's money for nearly a month.
Patrick Lara is jailed right now on charges of involuntary manslaughter and elder abuse. Detectives say he was in charge of caring for his 63-year-old uncle, Adrian Lugo. But when Lugo broke his arm, investigators say Lara left him to die on his bed, and then hatched a plan to profit from it.


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February 22, 2011

Care Home Worker Honoured (UK)

21st February 2011

A CARING Redditch woman has been honoured for her work with Droitwich Spa’s elderly residents.
Bernie Simmonds travels from her Redditch home to work at St John’s Nursing Home, St Peter’s Walk, Droitwich.
Her kind efforts for residents at the care facility were recognised when she was awarded a prize at the regional Shaw Star Awards, an achievement that saw her come in the top three in the deputy manager category.
She was presented with a framed certificate, badge and cheque after coming ahead of other carers from 14 homes throughout the West Midlands.
The award ceremony took place at The Solihull Moors Football Club on February 3.

SOURCE:     The Redditch Advertiser, UK
It is so refreshing to post such a news item. We often hear about outrages elder abuse in nursing homes; yet there are many, many care workers who are hardworking and caring.

I would like to acknowledge the great work done by many home-, family-, and nursing homes workers.

We must try to remember that the few 'bad apples' in the barrel do not infer that the rest are bad too.

............... Andrew


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Elder-abuse Charges Against Man's Wife Dropped (NC. USA)

Elder-abuse charges against man's wife dropped
Ruling does not equal vindication, prosecutor says
Feb. 21, 2011
Prosecutors have dropped the criminal convictions against an 81-year-old woman for abusing her ailing, 83-year-old husband in 2009, citing errors in the prosecution of the case and "changed circumstances."
Shirley M. Wilson is now claiming vindication, saying not only have her convictions for elder abuse and other charges been dismissed, the charges themselves have been dropped, meaning there will be no retrial and no criminal record.
Deputy Attorney General Paul R. Wallace, however, said the result "should not be viewed as vindication."

SOURCE:     Delaware Online

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Surge in Elder Abuse Prompts More Investigation, Awareness (HAWAII)

Surge in elder abuse prompts more investigation, awareness
By Rob Shikina
Feb 21, 2011

Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Scott Spallina recalls a case about a man beating his ailing father whose diaper was heavily soiled about two years ago.
The father sustained a detached retina and died a month later of an unrelated heart attack.

Spallina said the son was thrust unprepared into the role of full-time caregiver and became part of the 60 percent of elder abusers in Hawaii who are related to their victims. The son was sentenced to five years' probation for assault.
"Elder abuse is happening in Hawaii," said Spallina, captain of the Elder Abuse Justice Unit in the city prosecutor's office. "Unfortunately, it's a lot of family members."
For the past two years, the prosecutor's office has seen increasing numbers of elder abuse cases. In 2008 -- when former Prosecutor Peter Carlisle created the elder abuse unit -- it had 37 cases; in 2009 it had 57; and last year it had 102. By the first half of February, the unit had 22 cases, putting it on track to double last year's caseload.
Experts say the increase is probably related to drugs, the bad economy and the growing senior population.

SOURCE:    The Star Advertiser


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February 21, 2011

Children May Be Forced By Law to Care for Chinese Parents (CHINA)

Malaysia Sun

19th February, 2011 

China is said the be thinking of making it compulsory for people to visit elderly family members and not abandon them.

The law would allow parents to sue their adult children if they were not providing for them.

The China National Committee on Ageing has said sons and daughters will need to take responsibility for their parents and help financially. 

Because of China's one-child policy, which has been going for 30 years, the law could mean that a young married couple would need to look after four parents and eight grandparents.

By the year 2040 there will be 400 million Chinese over the age of 60.

Nursing home beds only accommodate a small proportion of the Chinese senior population.

SOURCE:   The Malaysian Sun

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Study Highlights Utah's Elder Abuse Problems (USA)

Study highlights Utah's elder abuse problems
By: The Associated Press
A new state elder abuse study has found that Utah's seniors lose an average of $1 million weekly to thieves.
The study from the Utah Adult Protective Services found the majority of perpetrators are the children and grandchildren of the state's seniors, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The report, which was based on 2009 data, found that thefts ranging from $35 to more than $745,000 resulted in overall costs of more than $51 million to seniors, taxpayers, businesses and the government.
It found some $30 million was taken from financial institutions, leaving Utah to pay an estimated $7.8 million to care for elders impoverished to the point that they turned to Medicaid for health care.
Financial theft is Utah's most common form of elder abuse, said Jilenne Gunther, the group's legal enforcement counsel, who reviewed 57 confirmed cases of elder financial exploitation for the report. She estimated that for every 10 actual incidents of abuse, only one was reported.

SOURCE:      The Washington Examiner

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Widow Faces Abuse Charges in Elder Husband's Death (USA)

Widow faces abuse charges in elder husband's death

February 20, 2011
The Press-Enterprise

A 45-year-old woman who married a much older Temecula man has been charged with 17 felonies, including grand theft and elder abuse, after investigators say she drained her husband's bank accounts, took out a fraudulent life insurance policy on him and tormented him till his death last summer at the age of 74.
Authorities estimate that Shawna Verdugo stole and was given $500,000 belonging to her husband, Johannes "John" Holzel, court records say. Verdugo, of Oceanside, has pleaded not guilty. A hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for her to stand trial was scheduled for April during a Friday hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley.

SOURCE:       The Press-Enterprise

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February 20, 2011

Roswell Police Uncover Disturbing Case of Elder Abuse (USA)

Roswell police uncover disturbing case of elder abuse
By: Joe Bartels, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Roswell police say they've uncovered one of the most disturbing cases of neglect and abuse they have ever seen.
Investigators say Tracy York, 37, and her brother Darrell Lawrence, 29, kept their mother in horrific conditions in a Roswell home for up to two years. Lawrence was arrested Friday morning. His sister Tracy remains on the run.
Earlier this month, Mary Ford, 58, was taken to the hospital.
Hospital staff called police due to Ford's condition.
Investigators say Ford was covered in human waste and had urine soaked bandages.
The bandages on her arms were on so long; her skin began to grow into them.



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County Official: Elder Abuse is Underreported (USA)

Tulare County official: Elder abuse is underreported, could get worse

Feb. 19, 2011

Eighty-seven-year-old Kay has been financially taken advantage of and neglected for several years, she says. She says it's a consequence of getting older.
"My money disappears all the time, and I go to the bank and get some more," Kay said. "I guess it's all just a part of getting old. People lift your money."
The Times-Delta/Advance-Register is using only first names of elderly people mentioned in this story in order to protect their identities.
Kay has had money taken from her bank account twice and shown up at the Visalia Senior Center bleeding from an untreated injury because she doesn't have transportation to the doctor. In fact, Kay can't remember the last time she saw a physician about any ailment. Senior center staff members have tried to contact Adult Protective Services, but the agency has yet to help Kay, staff says.
A supervisor from Tulare County Adult Protective Services was unavailable for comment. However, Health and Human Services e-mailed a response to questions.
"The policy of Tulare County Adult Protective Services is to prevent and remedy the abuse, neglect or exploitation of elder and dependent adults who are unable to protect their own interests and who are at risk of harm," said HHSA spokeswoman Allison Lambert, by e-mail. "APS seeks to maintain the individual's safety whenever possible in his or her environment by strengthening his or her capacity for self-maintenance, through the direct provision of services, or by linking the individual to appropriate services."
The HHSA response did not include answers to questions about whether it provided assistance to Kay.

SOURCE:      The Visalia Times Delta


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February 19, 2011

Elder Abuse On The Rise In Oklahoma (USA)

Elder Abuse On The Rise In Oklahoma
Feb 18, 2011
Elder abuse is a growing problem in Oklahoma. We now have more eighty and ninety year olds because of modern medicine.
But as they grow older, caretakers are abusing them, nearly as much as children are abused in our state. Newschannel 8's Kim Jackson says now there is an effort to educate families.
There's a lot of information on elder abuse. It can be financial, physical or even sexual. The suspects can be people you love, or perfect strangers.
Nate Waters is not a senior citizen, but he is disabled, and he's lived in three nursing homes.
"My mother's boyfriend broke my neck and basically left me paralyzed,"said Waters.
"He was nineteen years old then, back in 1997. Today, he's educating support workers about abuse and how he was treated at one point
"They kind of physically were a little rough with me and stuff like that and said crazy things to me," he explained.
Once,  he reported the abuse, only to have one caregiver tell him, stop being a snitch, he said.
"And told me don't ever tell on her employees. And I felt like wow I'm trapped. And that was a very scary feeling," he said.
That feeling and the abuse is compared to child abuse, even domestic violence.
"It starts with isolation, financial abuse, moves into physical and maybe even sexual and then the apologies," said Dr. Laura Dempsey Polan, of Life Senior Services.
She says make sure your loved one has someone who checks them, so they are not isolated from the outside world. The  best prevention, is to safeguard your own life, while you can.
"We can start right now to turn our health around if we have health issues. We can put our finances in place and get a will in place and do all those protections today," she said.
Waters is a professional speaker and entrepreneur. He's forgiven his mother and her now husband. And Nate has another goal, to walk again.
"I know I will, with faith and determination, I know I will get there.
Here's something to remember, the health department keeps a record of abusers. So before you hire someone to care for someone you love, do a background check.


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Real Reason We Neglect the Elderly (UK)

The real reason we neglect the elderly: They frighten the hell out of us
February 17th, 2011
I heard a really sensible Thought for the Day this morning. It was the Rev Angela Tilby and she was talking about this week’s horrific report from the health service ombudsman on care of the elderly. The report, you’ll remember, cited appalling cases of cruelty – such as the elderly man who was left sitting for hours in pain, desperate to use the lavatory, and so dehydrated that his tongue was “like dried leather”. Or the old lady who was never offered a bath or shower, nor did anyone change her wound dressings and she was denied food or drink. Her husband was said to have “died of a broken heart” after witnessing her treatment.
Ms Tilby made the point that this problem, of mistreatment of the elderly, affects the whole of society. It does not simply boil down to nurses being overworked or there not being enough of them. There’s more to it. It has to do with a fear inside all of us – a fear of old people. She’s right, even though this in no way excuses the disgusting cruelty uncovered in the report. Many people are starting to feel overwhelmed.

Not that that excuses them. A society is judged on how it treats the weakest. And, by this measure, our society can scarcely be called civilised.

SOURCE:     The Telegraph, UK

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February 18, 2011

Sued Rock Musician Alleges Elder Abuse (USA)

Sued rock musician alleges elder abuse
February 16, 2011

An aging Santa Rosa rock musician and one-hit wonder who is the target of an ex-girlfriend's $1 million palimony suit has filed a cross complaint against the woman 30 years his junior, alleging financial elder abuse.
“Spirit in the Sky” songwriter Norman Greenbaum, 68, accuses former South Carolina resident Tracy E. Outlaw of befriending him through the Internet and luring him into a romantic relationship, in part with “sexually suggestive communications” for the purposes of misappropriating his money.
Over a period of eight months in 2009, Outlaw convinced the “elderly and lonely” Greenbaum to give her lump sums of cash and ultimately moved across country last June to live with him and be his personal assistant, the cross complaint filed in Sonoma County Superior Court said.

SOURCE:    The PressDemocrat


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Agencies Warn Seniors of Fraud

Agencies warn seniors of fraud
'Don't give any information out over the phone'

A Glen Burnie resident didn't think much of the call she got alerting her to a new Medicare card.

Last week the caller identified himself as an employee of the National Medical Corp. and said he needed to verify her name and address. The 76-year-old resident didn't get suspicious until he asked for the name of her bank and her account number.
Then she remembered a similar call she received two years ago. That time she pretended she had dementia and refused to answer questions. This time she didn't give any information, a move local officials applaud.
"I told him, 'If you have information, can you put in the mail and give it to me?' " said the resident, who declined to give her name. "There are so many people out there trying to scam (the elderly). … This could be a problem for people a little older than me."

There also have been occasions on which seniors have been sent packages that look like they come from the federal government and contain requests for money or identifying information. Those packages, like the telemarketers, should be ignored, said Mary Felter a spokeswoman for the Department of Aging and Disabilities.

"The answer is: Don't give any information out over the phone," Felter said. "Do not respond (to those calls). Hang up the phone."

SOURCE:     Home Town Annapolis

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Elder Care Providers Issue Warning (USA)

Elder care providers issue warning
By Taylor Caroline Bigler

Feb 17, 2011

Providers of elder care are warning that cuts in protection programs for the elderly are being proposed at a time when the state is seeing a “quiet pandemic” of abuse cases.
“The amount of cases continues to increase in our area,” said Edward Flynn, executive director of South Shore Elder Services in Braintree.
Flynn’s comments echo concerns that were aired Wednesday during a State House forum. Legislators heard from state officials and home care providers who projected that nearly 20,000 cases of elder abuse will be reported in Massachusetts by year’s end.
Al Norman, executive director of Mass Home Care, a consortium of elder care organizations, said many cases go unreported because they involve family and the elderly fear being taken out of their homes.

SOURCE:      The Patriot Ledger

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Actor Mickey Rooney Granted Court Protection From Stepkids (USA)

Actor Mickey Rooney Granted Court Protection From Stepkids
Rooney, 90, Accuses Stepson and Stepdaughter of Abuse
Feb. 17, 2011

Actor Mickey Rooney has been the alleged victim of elder abuse at the hands of his own stepkids, according to restraining orders filed Monday.

The 90-year-old actor, who, born into vaudeville has had one of the longest careers of any actor, was granted court protection from stepson Chris Aber and his stepdaughter Christina Aber, after he filed a case against them charging verbal, emotional and financial abuse, and for denying him such basic necessities as food and medicine.

The court documents say that both Chris and Christina Aber have been keeping Rooney as "effectively a prisoner in his own home" through the use of threats, intimidation and harassment.

Christ Aber has also been accused of taking control over Rooney's finances, blocking access to his mail and forcing the actor into performances he does not wish to do.

SOURCE:      ABC News


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February 17, 2011

Veterans Duped into Paying for Service Offered for Free (USA)

February 16, 2011

An often overlooked veterans' benefit has now come into the spotlight. The problem is some vets think they have to pay to get the benefit. The program is sometimes called the VA's best kept secret and for some low income veterans it can be a lifesaver.
Veterans and their spouses can qualify for help through a program called Veterans' Aid and Attendance. It is there for those who need assistance with self care and have a low income. It helped Archie and Doris Uchida when they need it most. Their daughter, Debbie Uchida, also spoke to us about this.
"It is a big chunk of money to offset the cost of an assisted living facility," said Debbie.
Willard Smith, 93, heard about the program and was referred to Charles Enea.
"He didn't mention money for the first half of this month-long deal," said Smith.
Smith said Enea worked on securing the veteran's benefit, even bringing in an attorney to set up an irrevocable trust. Smith and his wife received the benefit.
"When I asked him how he got reimbursed he said he was certified for '250' an hour. I thought gee, $2.50 an hour, that's a pretty low fee for $2-and-a-half an hour, that is nothing," said Smith.
Smith said he thought Enea was a volunteer for a seniors group -- then Smith got the bill.
"It was for just over $10,000," said Smith.
Apparently that $2.50 was $250 an hour.
"This is financial elder abuse, what has happened to the Millers," said attorney Kathryn Stebner. "When you take money from an elder with the intent to defraud them, in California, that is elder abuse."

SOURCE:      ABC Local


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February 14, 2011

Adult-Abuse Registry (USA)

 Feb. 12, 2011

An adult abuse registry proposed for Kentucky would make it easier for law enforcement, potential employers and families to keep tabs on caregivers found to have harmed elderly and disabled people. Most important, it would help them keep such scoundrels from easily being able to strike again.
Senate Bill 38 seems reasonable in the face of a serious problem with potential to worsen — if for no other reason than that Americans are living longer and the ranks of the elderly are growing.
State Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, is sponsoring SB 38, and she chairs the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, which voted 7-3 this week to move the bill to the full Senate for discussion and, we hope, speedy passage. Sen. Denton makes the case that SB 38 will provide Kentucky's adults with a protection already given to abused children.

Seniors Often Fall Prey to Scammers

As the greater portion of our community transitions into and through their senior years, it will be important for friends and family to watch for the signs of diminished capacity and elder financial abuse. Either problem can affect a senior independently of the other, but very often diminished capacity and elder financial abuse go hand in hand.

The physical and cognitive changes involved with aging cause some processes to slow down, but just being slower is not necessarily an indication that a person's mental faculties are not still sharp. The National Institute on Aging estimates that about 20 percent of people 85 and older will ultimately suffer from a more compromised ability to understand information, weigh alternatives and make decisions consistent with their values and goals. The concern is that those who lose the ability to make sound decisions, or to remember past decisions, may become vulnerable to self-destructive behaviors and even financial scams.
Congressional testimony by the FBI indicates that financial scammers target older Americans because of their concentrated wealth, and know that memory impairment makes it difficult to understand financial schemes. It doesn't help that people born in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were raised to be polite and trusting, and are less likely to report fraud. Add to this an interest in "cureall" medicines and get-rich schemes and you have a target-rich environment for criminals seeking ideal victims.
Common "red flags" that may indicate someone may be experiencing elder financial abuse include:
  • Giving power of attorney to someone who appears inappropriate.
  • A lack of control over bank and investment accounts.
  • An unexplained change in mailing address.
  • Consistently deferring unanswered questions to a family member or caretaker.
  • Inability to articulate the reasons behind financial decisions that were made or questionable transactions that took place.
  • Sudden isolation from friends and family.
  • Sudden, unexplained or unusual change in the financial transaction patterns.
  • The sudden appearance of a new individual involved in the senior's financial affairs.

Advisers are often trained to identify suspicions of diminished capacity and financial abuse, but without a client's written authorization they aren't typically allowed to alert family members.
The responsibility for contending with diminished capacity and preventing any form of elder abuse largely rests on the shoulders of friends and family. If you suspect any form of elder abuse has occurred or is occurring you should tell someone. To report elder abuse contact Adult Protective Services. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police. Remember, you don't need to have proof to report suspicious. Trust your instincts.
Lewis Chamberlain, AIF, CIS is an independent investment adviser and owner of Next Level Investment Management. Lewis can be reached at 243-9888 or lewis@nextlevelinvestor.net
© 2011 Record Searchlight. 

SOURCE:    Redding.Com

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Break the Silence By Reporting Elder Abuse (USA)

Break the silence by reporting elder abuse
By Staff reports
Olney Daily Mail
Feb 12, 2011

When we reflect upon the celebration of national holidays, often they are historical in nature and sometimes come from ancient world traditions.
St. Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day as it is now called has come to represent a day of sharing, of giving, of loving and of thinking about our dear ones.
Too often one of our most vulnerable populations, the elderly, are not given that day of sharing, giving of loving by those who take care of them in their homes. They are abused, assaulted, and neglected on a regular basis by those who have been charged with their care.
Elder abuse goes on in their homes, but they are often not able to report it, defend themselves or stop those who are the abuser.
Stopping Woman Abuse Now or SWAN is a resource for these individuals. You can make an elder abuse report confidentially and we will investigate and try to remedy the situation. We are here to make the living conditions better for the elderly person, provide resources for the family of the elderly person and make the situation better.
If you know of an elderly person who lives in their home and they are being abused, please call             (888) 715-6260       or            (618) 392-3556       and make a report.
It is time that we BREAK THE SILENCE and MAKE A REPORT.
Without the help of the community it is not possible to BREAK THE SILENCE.
Linda Bookwalter
Executive Director

Copyright 2011 Olney Daily Mail

SOURCE:    The Olney Daily Mail

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February 10, 2011

World War II Marine Veteran Alleged Victim of Elder Abuse (USA)

World War II Marine veteran alleged victim of elder abuse
By Glenn Kahl
Feb. 9, 2011

Raquel Vernal, 41, was arrested Monday night at her father’s Kent Street home for alleged elder abuse, possible embezzlement and utility theft that Manteca Police say stretched over some five months.

The woman was charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor, according to investigating officers: elder abuse and neglect and theft or embezzlement of her dad’s income.  The misdemeanor was directly related to the theft of utility services, police said.

“You work all your life, you serve as a Marine, almost lose your life and hopefully you can be taken care of by your kids,” arresting officer Dave Brown said of the 88-year-old victim.  

SOURCE:     The MantecaBulletin


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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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