Archive for the ‘financial abuse of the elderly’ Category

‘Adviser’ convicted of bilking elderly Bradenton woman out of $1 million

October 3, 2013

An unlicensed financial adviser was convicted Wednesday of grand theft and other charges in a scheme to defraud an 82-year-old Bradenton woman out of $1 million.

Ronald J. Perrault, 42, was convicted on grand theft and organized scheme to defraud charges associated with them, according to a release from Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. Perrault faces up to 35 years in prison at his sentencing Dec. 4.

The state Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud found that Perrault, while acting as an unlicensed financial adviser for the woman, defrauded her of $727,000 during the last five years and more than $1 million throughout the course of their relationship, the release said.

The investigation found that the woman initially invested $50,000 in Perrault’s fraudulent business in October 2007, followed by $100,000 in December 2007, according to the release. During the next four years, Perrault convinced her to invest an additional $577,000. She continued to submit to Perrault’s demands until her account was depleted. From 2008 until his arrest in 2011, the victim was Perrault’s only client and an investigation found all funds were transferred to Perrault for personal use.

Full Article and Source:
‘Adviser’ convicted of bilking elderly Bradenton woman out of $1 million

Advertisements

Financial Elder Abuse Stealing by Any Other Name

August 23, 2013

Sacramento, CA:
The state of California has one of the toughest and broadest laws protecting against Financial Elder Abuse in the US. So broad, in fact, that under financial elder abuse law if a business were to dispense the wrong change to a consumer and the individual was in a position to prove he was 65 or over, then the issuance of wrongful change could be interpreted as financial abuse of the elderly.

Sadly, according to a former professional in the salon industry who returned to school at 65 and became an attorney, elder abuse financial exploitation is becoming quite common, and very serious. “It never dawned on me that this might be a crime,” Helen Karr, today the elder abuse special assistant in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, said in comments published in The San Francisco Chronicle (The Chronicle 3/29/13). “It wasn’t until I became an attorney that financial abuse was included as a crime of elder abuse. It is just plain stealing.”

That stealing, more often than not, originates from within a senior’s own family.

Karr reveals that in her former career as a supervisor at beauty salons in department stores, she would overhear scores of conversations between hairdressers and their elderly clients lamenting the loss of funds to acquaintances, caregivers and even family members – loans that were never repaid.

Now 78, Karr has spearheaded various initiatives in an attempt to better protect the elderly from those who might otherwise take advantage of them. One of her initiatives was to spearhead an elderly financial abuse law in California that requires banks and financial institutions to report suspicion of elder financial abuse.

Part of the financial exploitation elderly problem is that medical science is allowing people to live longer than they used to. And while an individual may have more prolonged physical longevity than a previous generation, their mental capacity may not keep pace.

Hence, the upswing in financial elderly abuse.

It’s not just family or so-called friends either, Karr said in The Chronicle. Financial planners and vendors of financial products can smell an easy sale and commission through the issuance of a product not at all appropriate for a trusting senior of advanced age.

“An annuity can be a good investment,” Karr told The Chronicle. “But if you’re already in your 70s and an insurance salesman tries to sell you one, and the fine print is that you can’t take out your money for 20 years without a very steep penalty, that’s an inappropriate product for that person.”

Full Article and Source:
Financial Elder Abuse Stealing by Any Other Name

“To Kill A Mockingbird” Author a Victim of Elder Abuse

July 29, 2013

In her 1960 courtroom drama “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee created one of American literature’s most beloved figures – the courageous Southern lawyer Atticus Finch. Told from the perspective of Finch’s young daughter, the book details Finch’s defense of a black man falsely accused of rape in Depression-era rural Alabama.

Now, at age 87, Lee is in court with her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, who Lee claims took advantage of her declining health and tricked her into surrendering her royalties to him. The book still sells 750,000 copies per year, according to Publisher’s Weekly, translating into more than $1.5 million in annual royalties.

Elder financial abuse cases often involve friends and relatives, and this one is no exception: Pinkus is the son-in-law of one of Lee’s oldest and dearest friends, the late Eugene Winick.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit filed in a Manhattan court this May claims that in 2007, Lee suffered a stroke and was not well enough to comprehend the papers that Pinkus gave her to sign. “Pinkus knew that Harper Lee was an elderly woman with physical infirmities that made it difficult for her to read and see” and he deliberately sought to take advantage of her. The papers gave Pinkus control over “Mockingbird”’s copyright and royalties. Lee was – and still is – living in an Alabama assisted living facility. She claims to have no memory of signing away her rights.

“She’s 95 percent blind, profoundly deaf, bound to a wheelchair,” Dr. Thomas Butts told London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper two years ago. Butts is a close friend of Harper’s who lives in the same Alabama town, Monroeville, that Lee has long called home. He added that Lee’s short-term memory was poor, but that her longterm memory was in good shape.

At the time of that interview, Lee’s legal affairs were handled by her older sister, Alice, an attorney who still maintained an active law practice at age 99. But Alice did not file the suit against Pinkus. Manhattan-based intellectual property attorney Gloria Phares wrote the complaint and is representing Lee in the suit. Phares, who often represents literary clients, once engaged in a battle over the rights to the C.S. Lewis children’s fantasy, “Chronicles of Narnia.”

The August 2013 issue of Vanity Fair examines the complex case and the relationship between Lee and Pinkus. Winick, Pinkus’s father-in-law, was Lee’s agent while she was writing “Mockingbird” and read various drafts of the book. Around 2002, Winick’s health became too frail for him to continue representing Lee. Pinkus took her on as a client. One of Lee’s friends told Vanity Fair that she came to admire Pinkus enough as a person to give him the Medal of Freedom bestowed upon Lee by former President George Bush.

The complaint filed by Lee’s attorney Gloria Phares asserts that Pinkus took the “Mockingbird” royalties and moved them among several shell accounts. Phares has said that “Pinkus knew that Harper Lee was an elderly woman with physical infirmities that made it difficult for her to read and see” and he deliberately sought to take advantage of her.

Full Article and Source:
“To Kill A Mockingbird” Author a Victim of Elder Abuse

Financial Elder Abuse

July 10, 2013

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG