Southern California woman accused of financial elder abuse

It takes less than an hour to drive east of Los Angeles to get to Norco. Among the city’s slightly more than 27,000 residents is a woman recently charged with financial elder abuse, money laundering and grand theft of personal property.

According to the California Department of Justice, the woman was a financial assistant employed by a Riverside County assisted-living facility to help residents with finances and living arrangements.

Three years of alleged abuse

She allegedly committed the financial elder abuse from April 2014 to February 2017 against two residents of the facility, both of whom had granted her Power of Attorney, which gave her control of their finances.

She’s accused of defrauding the elder dependent women – both of whom are over 65 and have impaired cognitive conditions – of more than $288,000.

Failing to pay the bills

Prosecutors say that the facility’s billing records show that the financial assistant didn’t issue payments for the two residents’ board and care costs. That failure put them both at risk of eviction, though they had enough in their bank accounts to pay for their care.

Instead of paying their bills, the caretaker allegedly diverted the funds from multiple bank accounts for her own use.

Warning signs

The American Bar Association urges family members to contact your loved one’s banker and law enforcement if you see of warning signs of financial abuse:

  • Large, frequent or unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Withdrawals or transfers of funds that the older person cannot explain
  • Notices of insufficient funds or unpaid bills
  • Suspicious signatures on checks
  • New powers of attorney that the older person doesn’t understand
  • Loss of property
  • Altered wills or trusts

You can stop elder abuse by contacting an attorney experienced in protecting seniors and their assets.