Dupage County Lawyers
 

Financial Elder Abuse

Seniors who are frail and not as mentally sharp as they once were are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.  Factors that increase chances that seniors will be abused or taken advantage of include:
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Physical impairment causing heavy dependency on others.

While elder abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse, active or passive neglect, and emotional abuse, the financial exploitation of seniors is particularly common. Those who defraud Illinois elders and people with disabilities face severe penalties.

On January 1, 2012, a new Illinois state law ((320 ILCS 20/) Adult Protective Services Act) took effect making the crime a Class 1 or Class 2 felony in many cases, depending on how much money is involved.  The law imposed fines and increased the chance of going to jail for financial elder abuse.  It makes it easier address low-level fraud, allowing prosecutors to go after scammers who steal as little as $5,000.

However, there are times when individuals are mistakenly or deliberately charged with financial elder abuse for crimes they never committed.  Sometimes one family member will accuse another of stealing money from an elderly relative, or a caregiver will be falsely accused of manipulating bank accounts of a senior citizen.

The seasoned and experienced Illinois elder abuse defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are aware of false accusations and will closely examine evidence and aggressively defend clients who are victim to false charges of elder abuse. We offer a free consultation to examine your individual situation and determine the best road for your defense.

If you have been accused of financial elder abuse in Illinois, contact the criminal defense attorneys of Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., online or call our office at 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882. We defend clients in Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane and Kendall counties and in cities such as Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Bolingbrook and Downers Grove, IL.

What Constitutes Financial Elder Abuse?

Financial elder abuse consists of the illegal or improper use of an elderly person’s property, finances or other assets without that person’s informed consent or where consent is obtained by fraud or threat of force or through theft.

These abuses are usually targeted at seniors who are no longer able to care for themselves and may be unaware that a crime has been committed, for example, individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The abuser is often the victim’s caregiver or family member, such as a spouse, child or grandchild — people who have access to the senior’s finances.

Since senior citizens are perceived as vulnerable and relatively wealthy due to their ability to access retirement accounts and pensions, they are also a frequent target of a wide range of consumer fraud scams such as mail, phone, or email scams, unnecessary or incomplete work by service providers, predatory mortgage lending, or investment fraud

Common methods of financial elder abuse include: misappropriation of funds by family members or caregivers, the manipulation of bank accounts, adding other names to bank accounts, inheritance fraud, credit card use, fraudulent use of bank accounts, taking out second mortgages in another’s name, and more.

In addition, taking money or property, cashing checks without permission or denying services to save on funds can all be considered financial abuse – and can now land a person in jail in Illinois.

The Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act became law in 1988 and called for the state to address the problem of domestic elder abuse. As a result, an Elder Abuse and Neglect Program was implemented under the direction of the Illinois Department on Aging (IDOA). This statewide program was established to respond to reports of alleged elder abuse, neglect and exploitation and to work with the older victims in resolving abusive situations. Services are available to those age 60 and older.

What if You Are Accused?

Perhaps you have been falsely accused of financially abusing an elderly individual, or perhaps the charges you are accused of do not really meet the criteria for elder abuse.

There are several elder abuse defenses available that could result in a dismissal or reduction of your elder abuse charge that a skilled criminal defense attorney can raise on your behalf.

The experienced and compassionate elder abuse defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., closely examine evidence and aggressively defend clients who are victim to the false accusation of elder abuse. We will take the time to listen to and understand your story. Most importantly, we will treat you with dignity and respect.

We provide quality criminal defense services to clients charged with criminal elder abuse and mistreatment, violation of fiduciary duty, abuse of power of attorney, investment fraud, embezzlement, theft, neglect and other crimes involving abuse of senior citizens or vulnerable adults throughout Illinois.

Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. For A Free Consultation

The criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. We know the judges and the court system and will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense.  We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and can greatly increase your chances of getting your charges reduced or dismissed.

Don’t delay — contact us for help today at 630-305-0222 if you have been accused of any elder abuse charges. Our Illinois criminal lawyers represent clients in DuPage County, Will County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, and the Greater Chicagoland area in Illinois.  Your free initial consultation can be scheduled at our office.

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