Preventing elder abuse every day

The 15th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day recently took place on June 15th, 2020. While designating a singular day to spread awareness of such a pervasive issue is helpful, heightened awareness should not be restricted to a single day out of the year. Let’s take a look at some of the action taken recently to protect elders.

A commitment to protecting senior citizens

United States Attorney Nick Hanna issued a statement about the department’s efforts “to bring unscrupulous actors to justice and put them in prison where they belong.” He said the DOJ is committed to protecting the rights of senior citizens “and giving them tools to prevent exploitation.”

The efforts are especially important in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which makes seniors extraordinarily vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, and has also served to isolate many from their families and friends.

Taking action against those who exploit fear

Unfortunately, the pandemic has spurred some to try to exploit the fear the health crisis has engendered among seniors.

It is worth noting that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles is one of just a half-dozen offices participating in the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force. Established last year, the group focuses on investigations and prosecutions of foreign-based individuals and organizations that are pushing fraud schemes that target elderly Americans.

Some recent prosecutions include:

  • A 56-year-old Moreno Valley man who engineered a Ponzi scam that targeted retired people
  • A 53-year-old former CEO of an Irvine-based financial services firm was recently sentenced to prison for stealing $3.5 million from senior victims
  • Two Canadian men were sentenced to more than 3 years each for participating in a telemarketing scam targeting seniors by impersonating grandchildren pleading for emergency financial aid

Please help protect your senior loved ones by spreading the word about financial elder abuse every day.