Elder Financial Exploitation
Frail minds and bodies leave elders prey to caretakers, advisers, scamsters and greedy family members who overrule their wishes. We detect and unravel elder exploitation schemes.
We work with concerned family members, law enforcement, and various protective service agencies on often traumatic and emotional cases.
In a sophisticated fraud ring our team untangled, two doctors, a trusts and estates attorney, a bank, a financial planner, a money manager, and a realtor worked together to victimize wealthy elders with dementia.
The doctors identified optimal targets and introduced them to the attorney, who passed them on to the others. This ring systematically isolated these wealthy seniors from family and friends and picked their estates clean.
We identified or confirmed each of the fraudsters and their individual roles in the scam. We also identified a number of victims and families who had been taken in by the group. Through the dedicated efforts of the law firm we were working with, our documentation was packaged and presented to the US Attorney’s office as a criminal referral. Authorities are now pursuing the case.
We investigated allegations of family abuse against the well-loved Academy Award-winning movie star, including the possible misappropriation of millions of dollars of financial assets. Using evidence we compiled, the elderly actor sought court protection against his abusive stepson who had acted as his financial manager for years. He testified in Congress, dramatically describing being a victim of elder abuse and being “stripped of the ability to make even the most basic decisions about my life.” The subsequent lawsuit was eventually settled, returning millions of dollars to the actor. Fame does not insulate against financial exploitation or abuse.
A granddaughter’s request for us to “Find Grandma,” who was missing and suffering from dementia, led us into disturbing family dynamics. Grandma had long lived with her 50-year-old autistic son, but other family members had been estranged and hostile—launching law suits, filing restraining orders, and attempting to seize control over Grandma’s sizeable trust fund. When our questions of family and friends were met with stonewalling, we suspected that Grandma was being hidden.
We conducted a five-state search, contacting neighbors and local churches, asking law enforcement to do “wellness” checks at each possible address we had for her, and tracing her bank records—only to find her bank account was empty. Our suspicions turned to kidnapping.
Grandma finally emerged after a detective we’d contacted earlier called to say she was sitting in the police station, being held while police were investigating the murder of her autistic son. She’s been reconnected with her granddaughter and facts are beginning to emerge. Grandma was taken to Panama by members of the family, who used her trust fund to buy property. The murder is as yet unsolved. But because of her granddaughter’s loving concern, she’s safe now and being well cared for.