31 August 2015

Senior scams: Financial elder abuse rampant and grossly underreported, prosecutors say

With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day in the United States, Baker says the problem is only going to get worse.
"We have what can really only be described as a 'silver tsunami' coming in this state with so many people retiring," Baker said. "They're vibrant and wonderful contributing members of our community, but they're also the No. 1 target for predators in fraud and financial crimes."

Among those were Jean Phyllis Jones, of Pleasanton, who was suffering from dementia when former Pinole police commander Matthew Messier walked into her life. Within weeks of befriending Jones, Messier, according to authorities, tricked her into signing over her $1.5 million, century-old Victorian estate.

"To be cheated was devastating, and it made her decline even more," said Heidi Bailey, one of two neighbors who reported the case to authorities.

Messier eventually pleaded no contest to one felony count of lying on his bankruptcy filings and received five years probation. He served about two months in County Jail and was required to reimburse Jones for the legal fees but never admitted to defrauding her. Jones died in January at 84.

Former Alameda County Superior Court judge Paul Seeman was charged in 2013 in connection with stealing more than $200,000 from his elderly neighbor Anne Nutting, who died in 2010. Seeman, prosecutors said, befriended Nutting, obtained power of attorney and pilfered from her accounts. Seeman pleaded no contest to felony counts of financial elder abuse and perjury, but as part of a deal with prosecutors, he was given time served. He was disbarred and removed from the bench, forced to pay restitution to Nutting's estate and received five years probation.

Last year, Alameda County prosecuted about 415 cases of elder abuse, most of them embezzlement, fraud and identity theft, according to District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. In many cases, O'Malley said, a younger stranger will befriend the elderly person, gain their trust, and then steal behind their backs.

Read the entire article:

Financial elder abuse rampant 

As an aside prosecution is a joke.

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