The District of Columbia has sued a number of individuals for defrauding vulnerable seniors, who are their family members, along with a caretaker.
DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed five separate complaints, four of which involve family members taking advantage of their elder parent’s finances, including opening a credit account in their name and withdrawing cash from their social security income without authorization.
The other complaint is against a home health aide, who allegedly made personal purchases with a credit card of her 61-year-old vulnerable client.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is seeking the return of the misused funds, as well as civil penalties, and aiming to ban the alleged perpetrators from working with elderly or vulnerable adults, and handling their finances.
These chilling cases involve:
❌Stealing Social Security income
❌Opening unauthorized credit lines
❌Deceiving relative to take title of home
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) June 11, 2020
“These abuses are a chilling reminder that our most vulnerable neighbors who rely on others for assistance with money management, healthcare, and other daily tasks are extremely susceptible to exploitation,” Racine was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office.
“OAG’s Elder Justice team will not hesitate to bring legal action against perpetrators who, emboldened by this time of uncertainty, exploit elderly or vulnerable adults.”
The accusations in the lawsuits are as follows:
- A Maryland woman allegedly opened a credit card in her 88-year-old father’s name without his permission and made at least 59 purchases totaling $4,405.70.
- A daughter who is a District resident allegedly stole $11,471.43 from the Social Security income of her 84-year-old now-deceased mother suffering from Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
- A DC man is accused of deceiving his 82-year-old legally blind mother into signing power of attorney documents, while she was in a hospital bed. The documents enabled the son to take the title of her home, worth $225,880. The man also had control of his mother’s pension and had not made any payments to her long-term care facility, leaving his mother with over $16,000 past due.
- A home health aide is claimed to have made seven unauthorized purchases using a PEX prepaid card of a 61-year-old District resident who is confined to a wheelchair, after falling victim to a drunk driving accident in 1991 and suffering a gunshot wound as a bystander to a 2016 shooting. The prepaid card receives a monthly allotment of funds from his settlement regarding the 2016 bystander incident.
- A daughter allegedly stole from the Social Security income of her 87-year-old mother, a District resident who suffers from schizophrenia, chronic kidney disease, and major depressive disorder. The defendant is accused of withdrawing over $3,000 in cash and spending over $500 on hotels.