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FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY INFORMATION FOR

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FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY INFORMATION FOR Powered By Docstoc
					           STATE & FEDERAL LAW RE:

FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY

          MANDATORY REPORTING BY

     BANKS & FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS

  
       WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY 2012
                 June 11, Slidell, LA
              June 13, Acadiana (revised)

                         Donald Akers, Jr.
                  Assistant District Attorney
               16th Judicial District of Louisiana
                     PROTECTING THE ELDERLY
                   FROM FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION
    THE ROLE OF BANKS & FINANCIAL SERVICES
q Play a key role due to the nature of their customer
  relationship.

q Because of personal familiarity with customers,
  they are quick to suspect elder financial and alert
  authorities

q Reporting financial exploitation has had increased
  attention at the state level, a focus consistent with
  an upward trend at the federal level…

SOURCE: US Dept. of Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Advisory FIN-2011-A003/
   Issued: February 22, 2011
            MANDATORY REPORTING !
• Reports ...shall be made to any adult protection agency or to 
  any local or state law enforcement agency...

• All  reports  shall  contain  the  name  and  address  of  the  adult, 
  the name and address of the person responsible for the care 
  of the adult, if available, and any other pertinent information.

• The  adult  protection  agency shall have access to any
  financial records necessary...without unnecessary
  delay...and is exempt from the payment of fee otherwise 
  required or authorized by law to obtain a record...

• If the adult protection agency is unable to obtain access to a 
  record ...the court shall order access...

                    WHAT ARE WE REPORTING?
            LOUISIANA LAW: 
   MANDATORY REPORTS REQUIRED FOR ALL
La. R.S. 15:1504  MANDATORY REPORTS AND IMMUNITY

• ANY PERSON...having cause to believe that an adult's
  physical or mental health  or  welfare  has  been  or  may  be 
  further  adversely  affected  by  abuse,  neglect,  or 
  exploitation SHALL REPORT IN ACCORDANCE WITH R.S.
  15:1505.

• ...any person who in good faith makes a report, cooperates
  in an investigation by an adult protective agency, or
  participates in judicial proceedings authorized under the 
  provisions of this Chapter...shall have immunity from civil
  or criminal liability…
    WHAT IS EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY?
LA R.S. 15:1503:  (EPS/APS Statute Definitions)

(7) "Exploitation" means the illegal or improper use or management 
   of an aged person's or disabled adult's funds, assets, or property, … 
   power  of  attorney  or  guardianship  for  one's  own  profit  or 
   advantage.

 LA R.S. 14:93.4.  Exploitation of the infirmed (Criminal Law)

(1)    The  intentional  expenditure,  diminution,  or  use…of  the  property 
    or  assets  of  the  infirmed,  a  disabled  adult,  or  an  aged 
    person…without  the  express  voluntary  consent…by  means  of 
    fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.

(2)  The use of an infirmed…aged person's, or disabled adult's power 
   of  attorney  or  guardianship  for  one's  own  profit  or  advantage  by 
   means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.
  PENALTIES FOR EXPLOITATION OF THE INFIRMED

               LA R.S. 14:93.4     A FELONY
§ shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned, with 
  or without hard labor, for not more than 10 years, or both

§ shall  be prohibited  from  access  to  any  disabled  or  aged 
  person's assets or property…

§ Shall  be prohibited  from  having  a  power  of  attorney  or   
  being guardian for any disabled or aged person…

§ shall  not  prohibit  the  offender  from  inheriting  from  the 
  victim
        LA R.S. 14:67.21  THEFT OF THE ASSETS 
          OF AN AGED OR DISABLED PERSON

• “Aged person" is any person 60 years or older (EPS 
  Jurisdiction)

• "Disabled person" is a person 18 years or older who 
  has a mental, physical, or developmental disability …. 
  (APS Jurisdiction)

• The intentional use… management or appropriation 
  of funds, assets or property...misuse of a power of 
  attorney...or through fraudulent scheme…
PENALTIES FOR THEFT OF ASSETS OF ELDERLY
             LA R.S. 14:67.21
 § Value of $300 or less, MAY be imprisoned up to 6 months
   in prison and up to $500 (Misdemeanor)

 § Value of $300+ to $500, MAY be imprisoned up to 2
   years in prison, with or without hard labor and up to
   $2000 fine (Felony)

 § Value of $500+, MAY be imprisoned up to 3 years in
   prison, with or without hard labor and up to $3000 fine
   (Felony)

 § 2nd conviction, SHALL be imprisoned, with or without
   hard labor, up to 2 years and up to two thousand dollars
   (Felony)

 § Offender shall make full restitution to the victim
                 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:
             RECOVERY OF FUNDS AND RESTITUTION ISSUES
                      TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE !
                 ‘’When they’re gone, they’re gone!! ’’

   Criminal Prosecution and Convictions 
   are  the  best  means  of  having  restitution  made  to  the victim  and 
   with no legal fees or costs 

   Civil Recovery  and Judgments  (‘’Its a Civil Matter ’’)
   a method of recovery and restitution available but statutes of 
   limitation often bar suit and there are no exceptions or extensions 
   for the elderly and infirm

• Perhaps it is time to review an exception or extension of time limits 
  for this class of persons in the civil law!
 Statue of Limitations for  Criminal Prosecution

• Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 572

   • MISDEMEANOR:
   –   Theft of Assets of  Aged/Disabled  valued < $300.00 
       2 years from commission of offense


   • FELONY:
   – Theft of Assets of Aged/Disabled valued  > $300
   – Exploitation of the Infirmed

       4 years from commission of offense
         STATUTE ADDED 2010
• LA CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ARTICLE 573.1
  RUNNING OF TIME LIMITATIONS; EXCEPTION;
  EXPLOITATION OF THE INFIRMED

  The time limitations established by Article 572 shall
  not commence to run as to the crime of exploitation
  of the infirmed (R.S. 14:93.4) until the crime is
  discovered by a competent victim, or in the case of
  an incompetent victim, by a competent third
  person.

  Acts 2010, No. 317, §1.
    Why Was The Statute Added ?
(1) La. R.S. 14:93.4 is designed to protect persons who are most 
    often unable to know that they are being exploited or fear 
    loss of independence or institutional care if they report the 
    exploitation.  

(2)   The relationship of many perpetrators to the victim is such 
    that trust is misplaced or the perpetrator is able to isolate 
    the victim and financial resources from access by others.

(3)     Exploitation  is often  discovered  long  after  the 4 year 
    prosecution  period  has  passed  such  as  during  an 
    examination  of  records  for  a “long term care Medicaid”
    application’s “look  back  period  of  5  years”;  or  when  a 
    victim has died and succession proceedings provide  access 
    to financial records.
       IMMUNITY, CONFIDENTIALITY and
     CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO REPORT

• No cause of action shall exist against any person or 
  agency  who  in good  faith    provides  a  record  or 
  document to the adult protection agency

• The identity of any person who in good faith makes 
  a report of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or extortion 
  shall  be  confidential  and  shall  not  be  released 
  without  the  handwritten  authorization of  the 
  person making the report.

• a person who knowingly fails to report abuse may be 
  liable for fines and/or imprisonment.  
  FEDERAL FINANCIAL PRIVACY LAW
Financial Exploitation Reports are Exempt
• The Federal Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978
  does not apply to reports  made to state or local 
  authorities.

• 31 U.S.C. sec. 5318 (g) (3) A: Any financial institution 
  that...makes a disclosure pursuant to this subsection
  or any other authority...shall  not  be  liable  to  any 
  person  under  any  law  or  regulation  of  the  United 
  States,  any  constitution,  law,  or  regulation  of  any 
  State or political subdivision of any State…
   THE RIGHT TO FINANCIAL PRIVACY ACT
   12 U.S.C. 3403 (c) (Federal)

• Nothing  in  this  title  shall  preclude  any  financial 
  institution...,from  notifying  a  Government  authority  that 
  such institution...has information which may be relevant to a 
  possible violation of any statute or regulation.

• Any  financial  institution,  or  officer,  employee,  or  agent 
  thereof…shall not be liable to the customer under any law or 
  regulation  of  the  United  States  or  any  constitution,  law  or 
  regulation  of  any  State  or  political  subdivision  thereof, for 
  such  disclosure  of  or  any  failure  to  notify  the  customer  of 
  such disclosure.
   THE FINANCIAL SERVICES MODERNIZATION ACT
           (GRAMM-LEACH-BLILEY ACT)

Exempts from its privacy protection and notification to customers 
  requirements:

Disclosure “to protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud, 
   unauthorized transactions, claims, or other liability.”

Disclosure “to the extent specifically permitted or required under 
   other provisions of law…to law enforcement agencies…or for an 
   investigation on a matter related to public safety.”

Disclosure “to comply with Federal, State, or local laws, rules, and 
   other applicable legal requirements.”
         United States Department of The Treasury
          Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
            Advisory FIN-2011-A003/  Issued: February 22, 2011 
Subject: Advisory to Financial Institutions on Filing Suspicious Activity Reports
                    Regarding Elder Financial Exploitation

              Key Areas Addressed by the Advisory Opinion
•   Financial institutions can play a key role
•   This advisory contains examples of "red flags“
•   Older Americans hold a high concentration of wealth
•   SARs continue to be a valuable avenue to report elder financial 
    exploitation.
•   Filers should continue to report all forms of elder abuse according 
    to institutional policies and the requirements of state and local 
    laws and regulations,
         Louisiana Bank Disclosure Law
           Linked to the Federal Law
    The Louisiana Banking Law, La. R.S. 6:333, provides:

• F.  The following disclosures by a bank or any affiliate are 
  hereby specifically authorized and,…nothing in this 
  Section shall prohibit, restrict, or otherwise apply to:

• (11) The disclosure by a bank …of financial records …in 
  accordance with the provisions of 12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq. 
  or 15 U.S.C. 6801 et seq. 

• (12) The disclosure by a bank… of financial records …in 
  accordance with the provisions of Title 31 U.S.C. 
     HOW CAN BANKERS AND FINANCIAL
       SERVICE PROVIDERS HELP ?
• Train and sensitize employees about financial exploitation so that 
  they recognize and report it

• Designate a staff person whom employees must notify when 
  questionable or illegal financial transactions are occurring

• Develop a protocol for reporting suspected financial exploitation 
  to law enforcement or Adult Protective Services

• Train customer service specialists in interview techniques of elder 
  customers

• Educate customers about how to recognize the signs of 
  exploitation
          SIGNS OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION
•  A relative or caregiver with no means of support who is suddenly 
   interested in the elder's finances

•  The elderly person's bills are not being paid

•  A relative or caregiver who isolates the elder

•  The elder is unaware of or unable to explain their finances

•  Bank and credit card statements are sent to the relative or caregiver

•  The elder is concerned about missing money

•  Suspicious signatures on checks

•  A legal document, such as a will or power of attorney, is drafted without 
   fully understanding  by the elder
      METHODS OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION
•   Taking or giving money or assets without permission or by
    force or intimidation

•   Borrowing money and not paying it back

•   Misusing ATM or credit cards

•   Joint Bank Accounts where the offender's name is added to the
    an account

•   Misusing the power of attorney or forcing the victim to agree to
    unintended purposes

•   Living Trusts and Wills: becoming the manager, trustee or
    beneficiary
                  For Further Assistance
Contact Information:
• Donald D. Akers, Jr.
  Assistant District Attorney, Elderly Protective Services
  16th Judicial District of Louisiana
  300 Iberia Street, Courthouse Suite 200
  New Iberia, LA 70560-4583
  Phone: 337-369-4420
  Direct Ph: 337-365-3886
  Direct Fax:  337-365-3886
 
• Additional Ph: 337-367-8451
  Alternate Fax: 337-365-7034
  email: dakersjr@cox.net
FIN-2011-A003 Indicators of Elder Financial Exploitation

Erratic or unusual banking transactions, or changes in
   banking patterns:
    –  Frequent large withdrawals, including daily maximum 
      currency withdrawals from an ATM; 
    –  Sudden Non-Sufficient Fund activity; 
    – Uncharacteristic nonpayment for services, which may 
      indicate a loss of funds or access to funds; 
    – Debit transactions that are inconsistent for the elder; 
    – Uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of 
      money; 
    – Closing of CDs or accounts without regard to penalties 
 Interactions with customers or caregivers:

•    A caregiver or individual shows excessive interest does not allow the elder to 
    speak or is reluctant to leave the elder’s side during conversations; 

•   The elder shows an unusual degree of fear or submissiveness toward a 
    caregiver, or expresses a fear of eviction or nursing home placement if money 
    is not given to a caretaker; 

•   The financial institution is unable to speak directly with the elder, despite 
    repeated attempts to contact him or her; 

•   A new caretaker, relative, or friend suddenly begins conducting financial 
    transactions on behalf of the elder without proper documentation; 

•   The customer moves away from existing relationships and toward new 
    associations with other “friends” or strangers; 

•   The elderly individual’s financial management changes suddenly, such as 
    through a change of power of attorney to a different family member or a new 
    individual;

•   The elderly customer lacks knowledge about his or her financial status, or 
    shows a sudden reluctance to discuss financial matters. 

				
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