Financial Exploitation for Social Workers

Report
FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY
Reporting, Legal Issues, Signs
Social Track
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
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?
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. 15:1505.
• ...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…
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
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
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.
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.
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 !!!
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...
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)
 2nd 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
Statue of Limitations for Criminal Prosecution
Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 572
• MISDEMEANOR:
– Theft of Assets of Aged/Disabled valued < $300.00
2 years from commission of offense
• FELONY:
– Theft of Assets of Aged/Disabled valued > $300
– Exploitation of the Infirmed
4 years from commission of offense
TIME LIMIT FOR PROSECUTION
• LA CCRP Art. 573.1. 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.
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.
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.
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 70560-4583
Phone: 337-369-4420
Direct Ph: 337-365-3886
Direct Fax: 337-365-3886
• Additional Ph: 337-367-8451
Alternate Fax: 337-365-7034
email: [email protected]

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