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Financial Exploitation For Court Officials NYC Elder Abuse Training Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Financial Exploitation For Court Officials NYC Elder Abuse Training Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Financial Exploitation For Court Officials NYC Elder Abuse Training Project

2 Financial Exploitation Illegal or improper use of the resources of an older person for personal benefit, profit or gain Can involve misuse of a Power of Attorney Fastest growing form of elder abuse in New York State

3 Signs in Victim’s Environment Deviations in financial habits Numerous unpaid bills Checks made out to cash Little money while awaiting next check Elder unaware of monthly income Disparity between assets and lifestyle Personal belongings missing Lack of amenities elder can afford Recent will when elder incapable Unprecedented transfer of assets

4 Signs in Abuser Receives frequent expensive gifts from elder Asks only financial questions, not caring questions Refuses to spend money on elder Misuses power of attorney

5 Typical Perpetrator Unemployed relative Child or grandchild Financially dependent on victim Substance abuser, gambler and/or emotionally disturbed

6 Other Perpetrators Paid caregivers Friends Fiduciaries

7 Can Be Devastating More upsetting than theft by a stranger Trust has been violated May deny or minimize

8 Criminal Charges Misdemeanors: Petit Larceny, Forgery, Fraudulently Obtaining Signature, Unlawful Use of Credit Card Felonies: Burglary, Forgery, Grand Larceny, Grand Larceny by Extortion, Robbery, Scheme to Defraud

9 Bank Withdrawals Unexplained withdrawals usually in round numbers Senior’s life savings may be withdrawn To investigate, forensic accountant will track pattern of banking for one year Banks will often cooperate to block an account if asked by police or courts

10 Joint Accounts Relative, friend or home care worker may open a joint account with the senior Gives them legal right to withdraw money If exploited, little can be done unless senior did not have capacity when signing papers to open the joint account

11 Misuse of Power of Attorney Person designates an agent to act on their behalf Covers only financial matters Can be an effective tool Not legal if person signing lacks mental capacity or is coerce Criminal case if obtained illegally or if funds are misused

12 Forgery of Checks In cases of forgery, bank must restore funds If a senior signs blank checks, must prove criminal intent Seniors with dementia may not remember signing the check

13 Other Types of Exploitation Forgery of checks Misuse of ATM or debit cards Fraudulent wills or property transfers Theft of money or property by home care worker Theft by Fiduciaries

14 Capacity Exploitation cases can hinge on capacity of victim to sign financial documents

15 Testamentary Capacity Person has enough mental capacity to –Understand what a will is –Recollect the nature and extent of his property –Understand relationship to his living descendants and others who will be affected

16 Capacity to Sign Contracts Understanding what a contract is and the consequences of the contract For proper consent, person must –Understand the transaction –Have mental capacity to contract –Act voluntarily, free from threats of force

17 Testimonial Capacity If impaired person lacks testimonial capacity, court may decide to admit unsworn testimony court deems he or she is intelligent enough to add important information

18 Undue Influence Term denoting excessive pressure Using role and power to exploit the trust, dependency and fear of the victim Consequences can be devastating for victim

19 Factors that increase vulnerability Recent bereavement Physical disability Isolation Lack of knowledge of one’s own finances Cognitive impairment

20 Perpetrators Start with trusting relationship with victim Family members Caregivers Neighbors, friends Con artists Fiduciaries

21 Actions to Gain Control Isolate victim Convince victim no one else cares Make victim dependent

22 Resources for Financial Management Adult Protective Services arranges financial management for clients Some community agencies provide daily money management Area agencies on aging can make referrals

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