Archive for the ‘Colorado’ Category

Law ramps up abuse reporting

July 8, 2013

Although Colorado urges medical and other professionals to report cases of abuse of at-risk elders, it had been one of only three states that did not mandate it.

However, starting July 1, 2014, SB 13-111 will require not only medical and law enforcement professionals, but others — including clergy and financial institutions — to report known or suspected abuse or exploitation of adults over the age of 70.
Those who don’t may face criminal prosecution.

While many of the county’s resources, such as its Adult Protection Team and 24-hour hotline to report abuse, are not new, spokesperson Haley McKean said the county is already ramping up outreach programs to educate and train those that will soon be required to report abuse.

“Counties do anticipate an increase in our adult protection caseloads when the state’s new mandated reporter law goes into effect next summer,” said Arapahoe County District 2 Commissioner Nancy Sharpe, who was part of a statewide elder abuse task force that helped usher in the new legislation.

Arapahoe County is home to more than 41,000 adults age 70 and older — a population that, according to the Colorado State Demography Office, is expected to double by 2025. Statewide, that number is expected to expected to increase 28 percent by 2017, and 142 percent by 2032.

“The law is great, but it’s disappointing we had to pass legislation to get people to do what they should be doing in the first place,” said Karen Dennison, 47, of Denver, who works as a contract home health aide. “I guess it gives us the flexibility to report things directly to the state, but I’m curious to see how a lot of these home health care company policies on reporting may change that.”

Caseworkers found that 487 at-risk adults suffered self-neglect, 287 were neglected by their caregivers, 208 were exploited financially or otherwise exploited by a person in a position of trust, and 131 fell victim to some form of abuse. Most were over the age of 60, frail or suffered from dementia or mental illness.

Among the most common incidents in 2012 were cases of self-neglect, neglect and financial exploitation.

“I guess it’s a step in the right direction to make more people responsible,” Dennison said. “More people means more eyes. It can’t hurt.”

Full Article and Source:
Law ramps up abuse reporting

Colorado: 2 Disbarments, 2 Suspensions in April

May 22, 2013

The Colorado Supreme Court’s Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge announced two disbarments, two suspensions and one reinstatement for the month of April.

Judge William Lucero disbarred both David Albert Solomon and Gregg McReynolds for converting client funds. Solomon represented a bank over the course of nine years, during which time he negotiated settlements without his client’s consent and converted client funds by ignoring his obligation to hold in trust those settlement payments. He also failed to keep his clients’ funds separate from his own. Solomon was previously suspended in 2005 for six months for neglecting a client matter and failing to protect his client’s interests.

McReynolds also converted funds he received on behalf of his client for her personal injury case (though he ultimately refunded those funds to her). In a second case, McReynolds settled a matter on his client’s behalf but failed to inform her he’d received the funds.

People v. Solomon. 12PDJ055. February 22. Attorney Regulation. The Presiding Disciplinary Judge disbarred David Albert Solomon (Attorney Registration No. 03176), effective March 29. Solomon, who was retained by a bank to handle collection matters, negotiated settlements without his client’s consent and converted client funds by ignoring his obligation to hold in trust those settlement payments. Solomon also failed to keep funds belonging to his client separate from his own, failed to promptly deliver to his client property it was entitled to receive, failed provide an accounting regarding his interests in the property, and failed to withdraw from the representation. His misconduct constitutes grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.2(a), 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 1.15(c), 1.16(a)(3), and 8.4(c).

Full Article and Source:
2 Disbarments, 2 Suspensions in April

Colorado Lawyer Indicted on Charges of Defrauding the IRS

May 22, 2013

A Denver-area lawyer has been indicted for allegedly defrauding the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver said Monday.

According to the indictment, the lawyer, Eva Melissa Sugar, 59, worked with Financial Fortress Associates, an organization that the government said promoted and advised clients on schemes to avoid the payment of income and other federal taxes.

Sugar, of Aurora, is self-employed and specializes in tax and other legal matters in Denver.

The indictment accuses Sugar and others of conspiring to defraud the United States for “the purpose of impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating” the “lawful functions” of the IRS.

Full Article and Source:
Denver Area Lawyer Indicted on Charges She Defrauded the IRS

Colorado Bill Requiring Reporting of Elder Abuse Progresses

May 13, 2013

A bill that would mandate elder abuse reporting in Colorado is finally on its way to becoming law.

Senate Bill 111 requires individuals in certain professional fields to report known or suspected cases of abuse involving people age 70 or older.

The bill passed the House May 1 on a 56-8 vote, after it had previously breezed through the Senate.

Rep. Sue Schafer, D-Wheat Ridge, a House sponsor of the bill, said the legislation is “over 20 years” in the making.

“It’s failed several times, but we’ve finally got it right,” Schafer said during a recent House debate.

“This demographic is as important to protect as it is with child abuse.”

Full Article and Source:
Bill Requires Reporting of Elder Abuse

Mandatory Elder Abuse Reporting Bill Heads to Colorado’s Governor

May 5, 2013

A bill requiring people in certain occupations — ranging from physicians to clergy members — to report abuse or exploitation of seniors in Colorado is heading to to the governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 111 passed through the House Wednesday morning and will now go to Gov. John Hickenlooper to be signed into law. Currently, Colorado is one of three states that does not require certain professionals, such as caretakers for elders, to report abuse or exploitations against seniors.

The bill will require nurses, chiropractors, law enforcement officers, dentists, nursing home staff, home health care workers and others to report any abuse or exploitation of anyone over the age of 70.

These mandatory reporters will be required by law to report any incidents to law enforcement within 24 hours of observing the abuse.

The bill was amended in committee to clarify that while clergy members are considered mandatory reporters, the “penitent privilege” that allows a clergy member keep certain information confidential, such as a parishioner giving a confession to a priest, still applies.

Any mandatory reporter who willfully fails to report the abuse could face a class 3 misdemeanor charge.

Full Article and Source:
Mandatory Elder Abuse Reporting Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

Elder abuse mandatory reporting bill clears Colorado Senate committee

February 22, 2013

A bill requiring people in certain occupations ranging from medical care to the clergy to report abuse of seniors cleared a Colorado Senate committee on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 111 is the product of an elder abuse task force that met last year to make recommendations on legislation requiring mandatory reporting of elder abuse. Colorado is one of only three states that does not have such a law.

The bill would  require doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy members, law enforcement officers, nursing home staff, home health care workers and others to report any neglect or abuse of anyone over the age of 70 within 24 hours of observing the abuse. Those who willfully fail to report abuse could face a fine up to $750 and up to six months in jail.

“We have an obligation to prevent crime and to lessen the effects on victims and that’s what this bill does,” Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, sponsor of the legislation, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Hudak said similar legislation has been proposed for decades, but there always were concerns about how it would be paid for because increased reporting of elder abuse could raise case loads for Adult Protective Services investigators. A 2005 bill was vetoed by then-Gov. Bill Owens.

Full Article & Source:
Elder abuse mandatory reporting bill clears Colorado Senate committee

Lawless America: Marty Prehn

February 8, 2013

Source: Lawless America: Marty Prehn

Source: The Prehn Family

Editorial: CO Should Make Reporting of Elder Abuse Mandatory

February 3, 2013

The Denver Post editorial board laid out a plan for how to improve the state in five easy (legislative) steps.

I’d like to suggest a sixth step is needed: mandatory reporting of elder abuse.

Colorado is one of only three states that does not have a law specifically protecting our elder population from physical, sexual, caretaker and financial harm by requiring those in a position of awareness to report suspected abuse.

Last year, our legislature created a task force to study the issue. It recommended a system of mandatory reporting for the mistreatment and exploitation of at-risk persons over 70 years of age.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has dedicated $5 million to put into place the policies and procedures needed for adult protective services to be resourced appropriately to be effective. It is now time to move from studying the issue to acting on it by passing the upcoming legislation sponsored by state Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, state Rep. Sue Schafer, D-Wheat Ridge, and Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument. Their efforts would commit the resources that Colorado’s seniors need to help protect them from harm.

Full Editorial and Source:
Colorado Should Make Reporting of Elder Abuse Mandatory, Suthers Says

Greeley Funeral Services Provider Sought on Charges of Bilking the Elderly

December 11, 2012

Greeley police are trying to track down a former funeral-services provider who allegedly collected money from elderly people for pre-paid funeral services and then left town.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 44-year-old Paul Acuna, who authorities believe is living in the San Diego area. The Weld County district attorney’s office has charged him with several felonies, including two counts of theft from an at-risk adult and 10 counts of forgery.

Acuna owned Paul’s Funeral Service in Greeley. He allegedly told his prepaid-services clients that if his business closed, their accounts would be transferred to another business, which did not happen after his business closed in April and no refunds were issued, prosecutors said. Acuna also is being investigated for allegedly sending fraudulent bills for funeral assistance to the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Full Article and Source:
Greeley Funeral Services Provider Sought on Charges of Bilking the Elderly

Financial Abuse of the Elderly Becoming More Common

November 26, 2012

An Aurora woman is in a legal battle with her sister over her father’s estate. The case is an example of the kind of financial fraud against the elderly that’s becoming more common.

Cindy Puckett and Jaci Ensminger are among 10 siblings. Jaci is child number 5 and Cindy is the baby of the family. Full Article and Source:
Financial Abuse of the Elderly Becoming More Common

Connie Dimick