The theft of homes, financial assets and material items from seniors (elder financial abuse) is growing. You might suppose this has to do with the large numbers of Baby Boomers who are aging, creating a large, vulnerable population.
This is certainly true. But do you want to know the real reason this crime, which is a shame to our entire society, is going through the roof?
Here it is folks: elder financial abuse is rampant because there are very few investigations by law enforcement and even fewer by prosecutors.
The reason? it’s not a high priority crime and even when the abuse is egregious, law enforcement considers there is no victim unless the victim files a complaint. Kind of hard when the victim has dementia or is subject to undue influence by a too-friendly neighbor or adult children who are too impatient to wait for their relative to die.
In the case below, Linda Magel found that her father, John Magel, lost a $105,000 certificate of deposit and possibly cash from withdrawals made using forged signatures. John Magel lost that money to a Chase Bank employee, yet Chase Bank didn’t refund the money “without putting up a fight,” according to Linda.
In Magel’s case, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Christine Moruza blocked a plea deal agreed to by Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Jerry Herman and the attorney for former personal banker Alex Ojeda, 28, that would have dropped a felony charge of financial elder abuse, a ruling that pleased John Magel‘s family. Ojeda is due back in court on March 2.
Read the original article, including the attempts by Chase Bank to avoid reimbursing the family until after the family threatened legal action.