Category Archives: Elder Abuse Laws

Caregiver Commits Financial Elder Abuse Using Signature Stamp

Could a predatory caregiver drag your aging parent to financial ruin with a stamp? The answer is yes, if the stamp is a “signature stamp” issued by a bank. Signature stamps are given to elderly or disabled persons who use it to “sign” their names on checks and other legal documents.

And as one woman in California recently testified, it’s all too easy for a signature stamp to be used to commit financial elder abuse…

Sanders said her mother’s caregiver used a signature stamp to cash checks, drain her bank account and access her life insurance fund. “She used the stamp to add herself to my mother’s Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue accounts by simply faxing over a letter that was signed with this stamp,” said Sanders. “She proceeded to charge over $80,000 on dormant accounts.”

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Signature stamps are incredibly dangerous. They are considered LEGAL signatures, which makes it possible for a larcenous caregiver or family member to commit financial elder abuse without committing forgery.

A new bill before California legislators proposes stricter regulations about how banks issue signature stamps. It also makes it a crime punishable by fine or imprisonment to commit fraud using a signature stamp against an elderly or dependent adult.


Minnesota Bill Adds Elder Abuse to State’s Offender Registry

Lawmakers in Minnesota are on the verge of making it easier to track nursing home workers who are convicted of violating the state’s Criminal Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult laws.

“Sadly we’re finding that there’s been an increase in abuse of our elderly, and those that maybe either have mental health issues, or simply have physical disabilities…We have to step up our game in Minnesota to address this rise in abuse…”

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Long-term care workers convicted of elder abuse would be automatically be added to the Minnesota Predatory Offender Registry. And that’s where they belong. Elder abusers are criminal predators. And the easier it is to track them, the safer you or your aging parents will be.


Elder Abuse and Financial Elder Abuse Laws Proposed in Congress

Looks like Congress may finally be getting serious about passing stronger laws to protect seniors from elder abuse and financial elder abuse and fraud. Three bills are winding through the legislative process. The first is the PASS Act, more formerly known as Preventing Affinity Scams for Seniors Act of 2011:

It would require financial institutions to offer services — such as special protective bank accounts and employee training — to older customers and to report suspected affinity scams.

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Two other bills — known as the Elder Abuse Victims Act of 2011 and the End Abuse in Later Life Act of 2011 — call for funding of an Office of Elder Justice and enhanced training and services to prevent violence and elder abuse against older women.


National Study: 14 Percent of Older Adults Neglected, Abused or Exploited

The growing data about the extent of elder abuse is getting harder and harder to ignore. Now it looks like Congress if getting serious about putting some teeth into efforts to focus the fight against this shameful national statistic.

The hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, as well as several recent studies, make clear that elder abuse is a growing problem that far outmatches the resources available to fight it. One national study estimated that in the last year 14

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Mickey Rooney’s testimony at the Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing did a lot to draw attention to elder abuse. Let’s hope that Congress has the political willpower to follow through.