Fighting Financial Abuse

The frustrations of financial abuse for the elderly received help from the Governor today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 102 to amend a section in the Hawaii Revised Statutes relating to the reporting of elderly financial abuse. The most significant change is for financial institutions to report possible abuse to state human services as well as county police. The original statute required reports only to human services. Immediately after receiving a report, police must begin a criminal investigation.

“It’s gonna fill a gap that’s really needed,” Honolulu Police Department Lieutenant John McCarthy said. “We’re seeing an explosion in elder financial fraud cases. It’s really sad because these people lose real dollars. There’s no one to replace it. There’s nowhere to replace it. We have to get out to these complaints immediately to try and track the money and save or recover what’s there.”

“WE’RE SEEING IT EVERYWHERE”

After a case gets reported to the county police department, they then contact the prosecutor’s office to work on the report and take it to trial. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Spallina explained that these fraud incidents are not only originating in Hawai`i.

“Unfortunately we’re seeing it everywhere,” Spallina said. “It’s not just a local crime. We have criminals coming from the mainland praying on our local victims here – our local kupuna – and taking the money out of state. It’d be one thing if they committed crimes here and the money stayed here but no, they’re taking it out of state – not only to the mainland but also Nigeria – other countries where the law is not as strict as they are here.”

Full Article and Source:
Fighting Financial Abuse

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2 Responses to “Fighting Financial Abuse”

  1. Thelma Says:

    If Human Services tosses their cases into the human whirlpool known as "guardianship," that would create more problems than are resolved!

  2. Betty Says:

    You're right, Thelma!

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