«The New York State Cost of Financial Exploitation Study June 15, 2016 Page 1 of 94 The New York State Cost of Financial Exploitation Study Yufan ...»
Granddaughter stole checks and made credit card purchase on her grandmother’s card totaling $40,000; used grandmother’s car without her permission, and was suspected of also stealing her diamonds. Perpetrator was arrested due to violating the order of protection. (306) The client has an order of protection against her nephew; now she needs to enforce it, and to cooperate with police about the theft of her jewelry. (408) APS obtained an order of protection, became representative payee and obtained funds to pay client rental and utility arrears. (436) The case was transferred to the DV unit as client had worked with them previously. Previously the client had not wanted to take action but now she followed through, obtaining an order of protection against the perpetrator. (728) Grandson cashed the client’s social security and pension checks and used for his own purposes. He does not work and has no income. He has alcohol and drug abuse issues. His grandmother faces eviction, with her section 8 benefits jeopardized as he was not supposed to be living there. He was incarcerated and there is an order of protection. (846) A DV advocate assisted client to file for a temporary order of protection to have her son and his girlfriend removed from her apartment, and police escorted them from apartment. They failed to appear in court when required, and client withdrew the application since she said they no longer contacted her.
Representative Payee Appointed or In Process
Allegations of financial exploitation by the client’s brother could not be verified, but there was a clear need for financial management to protect client’s benefits.
APS became the client’s representative payee. (43) Client has moved out of the exploitative situation and her father is acting as representative payee. A(227) Page 87 of 94 APS is seeking guardianship; while the decision is pending, APS is serving as rep payee for clients SSI benefits. APS is also screening client’s mail to avoid scam solicitations being sent to client. (232) APS appointed as successor payee so eviction was avoided. At time of APS rep payee appointment, there were numerous unpaid utility, cable and phone bills, in addition to the rent. (366) APS is providing rep payee services for client’s SSA and pension funds. (548) Case remains open, APS is rep payee and client has new people assisting her with her finances. (551) APS to provide on-going rep payee assistance to guarantee that rent is paid.
Client has on-going exploitative relationship with perpetrator. (561) Perpetrator Arrested and/or Convicted In several cases reported under this study, APS investigations and referrals to law
enforcement resulted in arrests and convictions.1 Here are some examples:
Client was swindled/persuaded to give $10,000 to perpetrators; allegations were founded and, despite client not wanting to press charges, the perpetrators were arrested and convicted. (42) Son and his wife moved son’s mother in their home, sold her home and kept the money. The son withdrew her entire monthly pension benefits as “rent,” even though she was confined to one room in their house and was not permitted in the rest of the home. The son and his wife plead to a misdemeanor, despite the exploitation. (356) The grandson was arrested and is in jail pending grand jury action. Victim Assistance and the DA are working with the client. An order of protection was obtained and she is supposed to be notified if he gets out of jail. The grandson pled guilty to assaulting the client. The client is afraid that if the grandson gets probation, he will try to move back with her. (409) The client’s son, daughter and daughter’s partner were arrested for exploitation.
An out of state daughter has taken over her father’s affairs. (376) The perpetrator is being prosecuted for identity theft. (409) The daughter was convicted, sent to rehabilitation and ordered to pay restitution.
(508) The client’s son was arrested, jailed and convicted of stealing his mother’s money, stealing her vehicle, violation of parole as well as other thefts. (536) Client’s daughter, agent under power of attorney, arrested for violation of fiduciary duty as agent. She was sentenced to 2-6 years in state prison and ordered to pay full restitution. (590) Police advise there is a warrant out for perpetrator’s arrest. (649) Page 88 of 94 Perpetrator is in county lockup. She was recently convicted of defrauding another individual. The case involving the client and the other parishioners is still pending. (708)
Restitution/Reimbursement Made or in Process
An individual hired to perform home repairs stole three checks from the client’s checkbook, forged the client’s signature and used the checks to make his own purchases. Referral to police was made. The perpetrator admitted guilt. Police have informed client the perpetrator agreed to return her money as a condition of plea agreement. (76) Please note that since the case review instruments provided reports as of the time of submission, they would not have included any convictions that occurred subsequent to the time of submission.) Grandson wrote checks out of his grandmother’s account. Case was closed, as funds were returned to client. She refused to press charges against her grandson and allowed him to move back into her home. (234) Money was replaced by the bank after police report was made. It was suspected that grandson took money but no evidence to identify perpetrator. (277) Daughter was convicted, sent to rehabilitation and ordered to pay restitution.
(508) Client’s sister stole his money, using his debit card. Client, age 24 and paralyzed from the neck down, was able to get money refunded by the bank. He realizes he can only trust parents with his finances. (600) Client cancelled his credit cards and was reimbursed for half of the stolen funds.
(657) Son forged mother’s checks for over $1,000. Victim’s family contacted police, criminal action pending. As of the time of submission the son had returned half of the money taken. (706) Client was in hospital after an accident and she gave her son her checkbook and ATM card so he could assist her with shopping. The son used the client’s funds for his own personal use. The client discussed matter with son and son deposited $1,000 into his mother’s account to replace the money. (804) Victim received some money back from amount “borrowed” but wants to give aide more time to pay back what she owes, despite records showing money was not used for stated purpose. (810) The customer alerted the bank and police department that he suspected his aide stole his ATM card and pin # from his wallet and took a total of $1,400 from his checking account. The bank reimbursed customer the entire amount. (913)
Financial Exploitation Verified by APS and Referral Made to Law Enforcement, but No Arrest/Prosecution There were several cases in which APS found there had been financial exploitation and made a referral to law enforcement, but law enforcement did not proceed with arrests or
prosecution. Here are some examples from reported cases:
Mother was too impaired, per police, to do a crime report and son has POA.
(239) Law enforcement could not prove coercion; rather it was determined that client was voluntarily giving her money when she asked for help. (70) The case closed with the police educating the client and her family on scams.
Her daughters worked with the client and the banks to secure her funds in a new account. If she tries to withdraw funds, the bank will be alerted and the bank will alert the daughters. (105) The client responded to an international sweepstakes mailing and related phone calls and has been scammed of $2,500. A report was made to the New York State Police. However, there was no ongoing investigation because the client was a willing participant. The family was advised to apply for guardianship and SSA was advised re concerns. (200) An incident report was filed with the police department; however it was explained to client that this is a civil matter because client willingly gave his friend the ATM card and pin number. Client was informed he could move forward with this case in civil court, however he did not want to do so at this time. (308) A “friend” of the client forged the client’s checks while client was in the hospital after an accident. However, the client was unable to complete a crime report due to cognitive impairment due to the accident. (357) The APS case closed after the DA refused to prosecute the nephew, based on the belief that the client knew what she was doing, even though APS disagreed.
(360) The situation was discussed with the ADA, but client refused to press charges and his mental state makes prosecution unlikely. (364) It was alleged that the client’s daughter, agent under the POA, failed to properly provide for home care for her mother and used her mother’s funds for herself.
During investigation of case, the client died. Case worker was attempting to refer Page 90 of 94 case to DA’s office, but as of time of submission the DA’s office needed more proof before they would accept the case. (396) Client was taken advantage of by a couple of his acquaintances client let into his apartment. Client called the police and was told unless there was forced entry into clients’ apartment, no investigation would follow. (461) Client understood she had been exploited and had taken appropriate steps through law enforcement and her attorney. Unfortunately, an arrest was not made in this case because $50,000 was not enough to prompt FBI involvement where the funds were wired to other countries. (527) Client’s son allegedly persuaded mother to take funds out of her account that he was taking for himself. Shortly after the law enforcement referral was made the client passed away. Law enforcement was unable to proceed with the case because there was no longer a victim. (538) According to fraud investigator, the client’s daughter had embezzled $150,000 from client’s funds over the past 13 months. Our DA will not pursue action against the granddaughter in spite of the wealth of bank statements that document the granddaughter’s enthusiastic shopping interests. The reason is that the granddaughter has a POA. (556) Police said there was not enough to consider it criminal. It was the partner’s word against the family’s word and the client states she wants the partner to have the things. Police said this is a civil matter, as client had given daughter POA. (803) Both the DA and the AAG informed APS that once a scammer crosses state and country boarders, it cannot be criminally prosecuted at the local level. There was no federal interest in pursuing this case. The ADA did contact an out of state bank to let them know the wired funds had moved through that bank. (827) Financial Exploitation Not Verified As noted above, districts verified that financial exploitation had occurred in about 52 percent of the cases reported in this study. There were various reasons why a FE
referral was not found to be verifiable. These include the following:
Allegation of financial exploitation by daughter unfounded. Daughter was legally client’s agent under a power of attorney and was working with a financial institution to assist mother to become eligible for Medicaid. (1) When requested, the agent under the power of attorney provided itemized receipts documenting expenditures on client’s behalf. (21) Client was not financially exploited. He authorized purchases/transactions and had the capacity to do so. (48) Page 91 of 94 Referral source felt $300 was missing, but could not provide a basis for that assumption. Client’s mental status was such that she could not provide any useful input. (50) Upon investigation client denied any wrongdoing by neighbor. Caseworker reviewed check registry and bills and could not see any evidence of mismanaged funds. Client said she occasionally gave the neighbor some money to compensate them for the time they spent helping her write checks and balance her checkbook. (61) Client was alert and oriented and maintained he is knowledgeable and consenting to the use of his funds for caregiver’s family. (68) Client has squandered her own money. Rep payee service has been initiated.
(141) Client is very aware of her finances. Client is very upset that someone feels she has been exploited. Case was unfounded and closed. (193) No financial exploitation was found. The client had some confusion and thought he was being exploited, but no evidence was found. (197) Client has mental capacity and willingly supported his wife and adult daughter.
No financial exploitation. (450) Client has capacity to make her own decisions. Evidence collected does not support a finding of financial exploitation. (464) Client was aware of the use of his money and was in agreement with it. He did not want to change the POA or his living or financial institution. He was found to understand what was going on and was not financially exploited. (493) Client is oriented x3 – aware and able to make own decisions and able to take care of her banking needs. She refused any additional involvement or assistance from adult services. (606) There was no financial exploitation found in this case. There was some suspicion by various parties, but here was no evidence to back it up. (622) Case Remains Open for Further Investigation/Services Another frequent status category is that the case remained open, for more investigation by APS and/or law enforcement, or to provide ongoing APS services to the vulnerable
adult. Here are some examples:
The case remains open. We filed guardianship paperwork but the case settled, with client’s brother being POA agent and payee for social security. Brother is working hard to improve financial situation. We keep APS case open to monitor client and support the brother. (199) At this time there remains an open criminal investigation with the New York State Police. (276) Page 92 of 94 Still open. Case was referred to police and the agent under the POA changed, so further exploitation was eliminated. (276) We are in the process of pulling together the needed information to make a referral to law enforcement. Nursing home is assisting client with application for Medicaid. Lifespan was designated agent under POA. (286) Waiting for bank records. (328) We are trying to get bank records of victim and paperwork for police. (332) Accounts continue to be monitored and POA use is being watched as well. (344) Case is being pursued in court. (348) Case investigation is still pending with the Financial Management Unit. Client completed check fraud statement of claimant and sent to FMU. Client also filed police report, and police are investigating.
DA’s office is investigating. (405) Client is in housing court, and APS plans to request a Guardian Ad Litem. (410) Pending for guardianship. (417) An application for assistance with rental arrears was submitted to avoid eviction.
Client was temporarily placed in a nursing facility after collapsing at home. Client is to be discharged next month. Upon discharge an application for financial management will be submitted. (427) Case to be submitted to DA’s office. (428) Caseworker will attempt to contact primary person involved in the alleged exploitation. (441) APS in process of working with client’s attorney to facilitate completion of psychiatric evaluation which is needed to determine client’s level of competency and to assist in care planning. APS is also requesting documentation from financial institutions and the client’s former primary care provider in order to conduct assessment of case. APS is continuing monthly home visits. The family is non-cooperative. (444) Assisting client with financial management for rent and utility arrears. (446) Case still open to address client capacity level. Will submit material to police to see if case warrants further APS involvement. (469) Case remains open while seeking subsidized housing for client. (560) Adult Services is working with police to investigate how client funds are being spent. We may be looking to formally manage her money to ensure her bills are being paid. The utility had shut off her heat, water, electricity due to nonpayment. Caseworker continues to try to meet with the family to discuss budget issues. The plan is for client’s caseworker to become her payee. (592) Case is open with New York State Police for investigation. APS case is closed.
(596) Page 93 of 94 Client continues to reside in family type home for adults. APS will continue to provide services to client, although he is no longer at risk of financial exploitation.
(601) Case is relatively new to APS and there is still a great deal of information to be gathered. Contact has been made with POA agent, who advises that his attorney is handling the matter. APS will follow up. (762) We are still investigating. Attempts to contact the sister in law, who is managing the funds, have not been successful. We are reaching out to other family members. (763) At present, all individuals admit to a onetime usage of client’s funds to pay for car insurance. Details are still being gathered. (764)