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WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY 2012 June 11, Slidell, LA Donald D. Akers, Jr., Assistant District Attorney Elderly Protective Services 16thJudicial District.

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Presentation on theme: "WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY 2012 June 11, Slidell, LA Donald D. Akers, Jr., Assistant District Attorney Elderly Protective Services 16thJudicial District."— Presentation transcript:

1 WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY 2012 June 11, Slidell, LA Donald D. Akers, Jr., Assistant District Attorney Elderly Protective Services 16thJudicial District of Louisiana Member: Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, Taskforce on Financial Exploitation of The Elderly. FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY Reporting, Legal Issues, Signs Social Track

2 MANDATORY REPORTING ! Reports...shall be made to any adult protection agency or to any local or state law enforcement agency... All reports shall contain the name and address of the adult, the name and address of the person responsible for the care of the adult, if available, and any other pertinent information. The adult protection agency shall have access to any financial records necessary...without unnecessary delay...and is exempt from the payment of fee otherwise required or authorized by law to obtain a record... If the adult protection agency is unable to obtain access to a record...the court shall order access... WHAT ARE WE REPORTING?

3 LOUISIANA LAW: MANDATORY REPORTS REQUIRED FOR ALL La. R.S. 15:1504 MANDATORY REPORTS AND IMMUNITY ANY PERSON...having cause to believe that an adult's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be further adversely affected by abuse, neglect, or exploitation SHALL REPORT IN ACCORDANCE WITH R.S. 15: any person who in good faith makes a report, cooperates in an investigation by an adult protective agency, or participates in judicial proceedings authorized under the provisions of this Chapter...shall have immunity from civil or criminal liability…

4 SIGNS OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION A relative or caregiver with no means of support who is suddenly interested in the elder's finances The elderly person's bills are not being paid A relative or caregiver who isolates the elder The elder is unaware of or unable to explain their finances Bank and credit card statements are sent to the relative or caregiver The elder is concerned about missing money Suspicious signatures on checks A legal document, such as a will or power of attorney, is drafted without the elder fully appreciating its implications

5 METHODS OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY Taking or giving the victim's money, property, or valuables without permission Borrowing money and not paying it back Misusing ATM or credit cards Joint Bank Accounts where the offender's name is added to the victim's account Transferring property to the offender, possibly as a result of force or intimidation Misusing the power of attorney OR forcing the victim to agree to it Living Trusts and Wills: Having himself named manager of the victim's trust or as a beneficiary

6 WHAT IS EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY? LA R.S. 15:1503 : ( EPS/APS Statute Definitions ) (7) "Exploitation" means the illegal or improper use or management of an aged person's or disabled adult's funds, assets, or property, … power of attorney or guardianship for one's own profit or advantage. (8) "Extortion" is the acquisition of a thing of value from an unwilling or reluctant adult by physical force, intimidation, or abuse of legal or official authority.

7 LA R.S. 14:93.4. Exploitation of the infirmed (Criminal Law) (1) The intentional expenditure, diminution, or use…of the property or assets of the infirmed, a disabled adult, or an aged person…without the express voluntary consent…by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. (2) The use of an infirmed…aged person's, or disabled adult's power of attorney or guardianship for one's own profit or advantage by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.

8 PENALTIES FOR EXPLOITATION OF THE INFIRMED LA R.S. 14:93.4 A FELONY  shall be fined not more than $10,000, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or both  shall be prohibited from having access to the victim's or any other disabled or aged person's assets or property…from being appointed as a power of attorney or guardian for the victim or any other disabled or aged person…  shall not prohibit the offender from inheriting from the victim !!!

9 LA R.S. 14:67.21 THEFT OF THE ASSETS OF AN AGED OR DISABLED PERSON “Aged person " is any person 60 years or older (EPS Jurisdiction) "Disabled person" is a person 18 years or older who has a mental, physical, or developmental disability …. (APS Jurisdiction) The intentional use, consumption, conversion, management, or appropriation of funds, assets or property...misuse of a power of attorney...or through fraudulent scheme...without authorization for the profit, advantage, or benefit...

10 PENALTIES FOR THEFT OF ASSETS OF ELDERLY LA R.S. 14:67.21  Value of $300 or less, MAY be imprisoned up to 6 months in prison and up to $500 (Misdemeanor)  Value of $300 to $500, MAY be imprisoned up to 2 years in prison, with or without hard labor and up to $2000 fine (Felony)  Value of $500+, MAY be imprisoned up to 3 years in prison, with or without hard labor and up to $3000 fine (Felony)  2 nd conviction, SHALL be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, up to 2 years and up to two thousand dollars (Felony)  Offender shall make full restitution to the victim

11 Statue of Limitations for Criminal Prosecution Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 572 MISDEMEANOR: – Theft of Assets of Aged/Disabled valued < $ years from commission of offense FELONY: – Theft of Assets of Aged/Disabled valued > $300 – Exploitation of the Infirmed 4 years from commission of offense

12 TIME LIMIT FOR PROSECUTION LA CCRP Art Running of time limitations; exception; exploitation of the infirmed The time limitations established by Article 572 shall not commence to run as to the crime of exploitation of the infirmed (R.S. 14:93.4) until the crime is discovered by a competent victim, or in the case of an incompetent victim, by a competent third person. Acts 2010, No. 317, §1.

13 REASON FOR THE LEGISLATIVE CHANGE (1)La. R.S. 14:93.4 is designed to protect persons who are most often unable to know that they are being exploited or fear loss of independence or institutional care if they report the exploitation. (2) The relationship of many perpetrators to the victim is such that trust is misplaced or the perpetrator is able to isolate the victim and financial resources from access by others. (3) Exploitation is often discovered long after the 4 year prosecution period has passed such as during an examination of records for a “long term care Medicaid” application’s “look back period of 5 years”; or when a victim has died and succession proceedings provide access to financial records.

14 Anatomy of a Seduction! The sad tale of the financial exploitation of a lonely elderly widow by a member of the clergy… A discussion tool.

15 For Further Assistance Contact Information: Donald D. Akers, Jr. Assistant District Attorney, Elderly Protective Services 16th Judicial District of Louisiana 300 Iberia Street, Courthouse Suite 200 New Iberia, LA Phone: Direct Ph: Direct Fax: Additional Ph: Alternate Fax:


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