Many trust and estate disputes in Sacramento County Superior Court and elsewhere involve financial elder abuse. Concerned family members may sue the wrongdoer in civil court to recover monetary damages. But what about criminal penalties? When does the “bad guy” (or gal) end up in jail?
While many of my clients are rightfully outraged about the family member or interloper who has stolen money from a vulnerable elder, criminal prosecution is relatively unusual. Our criminal laws, including California Penal Code section 368(d), prohibit defrauding an elder but our prosecutors seldom prosecute those who could go to prison.