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$ FINANCIAL CRIMES $. for Police Detectives NYC Elder Abuse Training Project. Financial exploitation. Illegal or improper use of the resources of an older individual for personal benefit, profit or gain Misuse of a Power Of Attorney. Financial exploitation includes.

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financial crimes

for Police Detectives

NYC Elder Abuse Training Project

financial exploitation
Financial exploitation
  • Illegal or improper use of the resources of an older individual for personal benefit, profit or gain
  • Misuse of a Power Of Attorney
financial exploitation includes
Financial exploitation includes
  • “fraud, false pretenses, embezzlement, conspiracy, forgery, falsifying records, coerced property transfers or denial of access to assets.” NYS SSL§473.6
signs in the victim s environment
Signs in the Victim’s environment
  • Deviations in financial habits
  • Numerous unpaid bills
  • Checks made to cash
  • Disparity between lifestyle and assets
  • Personal belongings missing
  • Unprecedented transfer of assets
  • Elder unaware of monthly income
signs in the caregiver abuser
Signs in the Caregiver/Abuser
  • Makes all banking transactions
  • Makes all investment decisions
  • Receives expensive gifts from senior
  • Asks only financial questions
  • Refuses to spend on elder’s care
  • Misuses Power of Attorney
exploiter is often
Exploiter is often:
  • Unemployed relative (e.g., child, grandchild)
  • Dependent on elderly victim
  • Alcohol or drug-addicted and/or emotionally disturbed
  • Or paid caregiver, friend, fiduciary
emotional and physical abuse
Emotional and physical abuse
  • Used to intimidate and coerce victim
trust factor
Trust factor
  • Exploitation by trusted person more upsetting than theft/fraud by stranger
misdemeanor charges nys
Misdemeanor charges (NYS)
  • Petit Larceny
  • Forgery (and related charges)
  • Fraudulently Obtaining a Signature
  • Unlawful Use of a Credit Card
felony charges nys
Felony charges (NYS)
  • Burglary
  • Forgery (and related charges)
  • Grand Larceny
  • Grand Larceny by Extortion
  • Robbery
  • Scheme to Defraud
concomitant offenses nys
Concomitant offenses (NYS)
  • Violations: Harassment, Trespass
  • Misdemeanors: Assault 3°, Criminal Contempt, Coercion 2°, Jostling, Menacing, Stalking, Endangering the Welfare of and Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person, Intimidation of/Tampering with a Witness
  • Felonies: Assault 1° and 2°, Coercion 1°,

Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person 1° and 2°, Kidnapping, Unlawful Imprisonment

types of financial exploitation
Types of Financial Exploitation
  • Telemarketing fraud, identity theft, living will scams, lottery scams, home-improvement frauds
    • Usually perpetrated by strangers
    • Not covered in detail here
    • “Trust” crimes covered in detail below
types of exploitation continued
Types of exploitation (continued)
  • Changes in patterns of spending and bank withdrawals
    • Withdrawals and gifts can be legitimate
  • Money missing from joint accounts
    • Did senior have capacity to sign?
types of exploitation continued14
Types of exploitation (continued)
  • Forgery of check or credit card signatures
  • Misuse of ATM or debit cards
  • Fraudulent wills and property transfers
  • Theft of money or property by home health aide
types of exploitation continued15
Types of exploitation (continued)
  • Theft of money by attorneys, brokers, court-appointed guardians, Rep Payees
  • Misuse of a Power of Attorney
    • Improperly obtained
    • Improperly used
powers of attorney
Powers of Attorney
  • Only covers designated financial transactions, not healthcare decisions or nursing home placement
  • Forms sold in stores multi-page; exploiter can substitute pages indicating broader powers than victim agreed to
  • Not valid if coerced or signer lacked capacity
  • Capacity = ability to perform a task
  • Mental capacity focuses on mental processes (e.g., remembering, reasoning, understanding consequences)
  • Decisional capacity = ability to make an informed decision
capacity continued
Capacity (continued)
  • Testamentary capacity relates to wills
  • Capacity to sign contracts includes understanding consequences
  • For consent, individual must
    • Understand transaction
    • Have mental capacity to contract
    • Act voluntarily, free of threats/force
undue influence
Undue influence
  • “the substitution of one person’s will for the true desires of another”
  • Used as means to exploit
  • Devastating to victim
    • Material loss
    • Personal loss of power
undue influence continued
Undue influence (continued)
  • Perpetrators may isolate victim
  • May convince victim no one else cares for them
  • Can be asserted in court to support exploitation charges
financial management
Financial management
  • Some self-neglecting older adults need help with finances
  • APS offers “financial management”
  • Community agencies offer “daily money management”
  • Contact area agency on aging for referral source
structured interview
Structured interview
  • Difficult to get facts you need for case if older adults become unfocused and confused
  • Solution: Use predetermined questions to keep interview focused
    • Be sure they do not conflict with department protocols
concluding remarks
Concluding remarks
  • Financial exploitation fastest growing form of elder abuse
  • Often leads to early death
  • Perpetrators tend to leave trail of evidence; “Follow the money”
  • Team with other investigators and forensic accountants