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

December 14, 2011

Senior Exploitation a Preventable Crime (USA)

Senior exploitation a preventable crime
Posted:  December 11, 2011

A 90-year-old woman wanted to help her family avoid probate when she died, so she deeded her house to her son, with his encouragement. The son then bought the BMW convertible he'd always wanted, a new house, a big boat and other things he couldn't afford. He used his mother's home to guarantee those loans. She lost the home.
It raises the question: "What are you going to do with a 90-year-old homeless grandmother?"
It's just one example of financial exploitation of senior citizens that happens every day. One of the most underreported crimes, a conservative estimate places its impact at $1.5 million per week just in Utah. The repercussions affect not only the senior citizens and their families, but financial institutions, governments and taxpayers.
There is help, however.
Utah is at the forefront of helping seniors and their caregivers learn how to better manage their finances and prevent such exploitation.
One tool is a book, "Navigating Your Rights: The Utah Legal Guide for Those 55 and Over." It was written by Jilenne Gunther, an attorney with the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services, with a foreword by former Gov. Olene S. Walker.
Another tool is a program offered by Bank of American Fork called third party monitoring. Under it, a senior citizen may designate to a trusted person view-only access to his or her bank accounts in order to see what transactions are taking place, in an effort to stop exploitation before it becomes too great.
"Banks need to protect the people who are the most vulnerable," Bank of American Fork president Rick Beard said. "We've seen instances where people have caused problems. We've been giving financial tools to people in charge of taking care or to the elderly themselves. The idea behind it is that while it won't solve everything, it makes people aware and gives tools to protect some of the different kinds of fraud that we see. Monitoring and teaching are important parts."
He has personally met with seniors with such problems and said it is devastating to see a senior with those concerns.
"It's really hard to see them when they have lost their ability to sustain themselves," he said. "We're trying to put back into the community with a government-private relationship. We're working together to deal with a very real problem. Hopefully it allows the seniors a chance to enjoy their golden years without worrying about money."
Kathleen Quinn, director of the National Adult Protective Services Association, praised the program.
"I do not know of any other banks that are using the third party monitoring," she said. "I think it has a lot of potential. It's always good to have more eyes, checks and balances."

A book can be ordered FREE:

While supplies last, the book may be ordered free of charge by calling             (801) 538-3910       or going to http://legalguide55.utah.gov. Copies have been sent to public libraries and senior citizen centers in Utah.

Fast facts:
The average exploitation per case is $128,288. For those with mental impairment, that amount increases to $143,068. If Medicare costs are included, that figure increases to $171,600.
The closer the exploiter is to the senior, the greater the average amount for exploitation.
° The average loss per case when a child is the perpetrator is $157,326.
* The average loss per case when a family member is the exploiter is $125,193
(a 47 percent increase more than the average exploitation).
* The average loss per case when a grandchild is the perpetrator is $45,496.
* The average loss per case when a paid caregiver is the perpetrator is
* The average loss per case when the perpetrator had some sort of addiction
(alcohol, gambling, alcohol) was $25,688.
* The average loss per case when a stranger is the perpetrator is $30,219.
Methods of exploitation include both finances and property.
* Scam
* Withdrawals from bank account
* Cash
* Check (forgery)
* Credit Card (open debit card without knowledge, identity theft, or "borrow card")
* Loans
* Personal property
* House (stolen through transferring the property)
* Car theft or "borrowing"
* Rent (living off senior despite agreement)
* Medicaid (exploited senior now forced to be dependent on Medicaid

SOURCE:       The Herald Extra

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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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