Elder abuse is the intentional acts by a caregiver or a “trusted” individual that lead to, or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder. Police and prosecutors define elder abuse as any crime or violation involving a victim who is sixty years of age or older. There are many forms of elder abuse, but the most prevalent and the most prosecuted form would be financial abuse.
Financial Abuse is financial exploitation of the elderly and it is shown through indications of misappropriations of an elder person’s money, property, or resources by a trusted individual or institution. The alleged financial exploiter is usually identified as a close family member, relative, a friend, or a care provider.
In many instances, the alleged individual would have would have misused the trust gained by the elderly and may have persuaded the elderly to sign a durable power of attorney, which enables the individual to gain control of the elderly person’s income and assets for personal gain.
Within each county, an elder abuse unit is created to address the needs and concerns of older crime victims within that jurisdiction. The Elder Abuse Unit in New York usually works with the New York City Police Department, Adult Protective Services Agency (APS), the New York City Department for the Aging, medical professional and social services agencies, to led aggressive investigations and prosecutions of elder abuse crimes.
There is no specific definition of financial abuse/financial exploitation of an elderly person within the New York Penal Law. Instead, the defendant may face charges of Scheme to Defraud, Forgery, and Falsifying Records, for financial exploitation of an elderly person.
The investigations of Elder Abuse in New York should not be taken lightly. It is advisable for the alleged person to speak with an attorney at the onset of such investigations.
If you are recently being investigated or charged for Financial Exploitation then call our office at (212) 577-6677 to get professional legal assistance.