Elder financial abuse is all too common in Sacramento County and elsewhere. The abuser, often a family member or caregiver, drains away the resources of an elder or dependent adult who cannot work to replenish them. By the time the theft is discovered, the money may be long gone and the victim may be saddled with debt. What can the victim do?
In a recent post, I commented on how often elder financial abuse cases often go unprosecuted in California, to the chagrin of victims and their families. A week after that post, the California Department of Insurance announced the conviction in Placer County Superior Court of Christine Ann Cooper, who was arrested in Sacramento County and ultimately sentenced to 18 months in jail after embezzling approximately $129,000 from her mother’s trust accounts. According to the Department, Cooper wrote checks to herself from the accounts over a nine-year period and falsified records to conceal her thefts.
Contact with local law enforcement eventually may result in prosecution, but victims and their advocates should take a multi-faceted approach.