DC files lawsuits accusing relatives, health aide of taking financial advantage of seniors

D.C. has filed multiple lawsuits accusing relatives and a caretaker of taking financial advantage of elderly residents.

The D.C. Attorney General’s Office filed five separate lawsuits against family members and a home health aid they said “financially exploited” vulnerable adults.

The District wants the misused funds returned, the defendants fined and disallowed from working with elderly and vulnerable adults and handling their finances.

“These abuses are a chilling reminder that our most vulnerable neighbors who rely on others for assistance with money management, health care, and other daily tasks are extremely susceptible to exploitation,” D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement.

The office’s Elder Justice section reported an increase in the number of case referrals since March. In May, it received its largest number of referrals, 45, since its inception.

The lawsuits filed by Racine’s office are:

  • A Maryland woman opens a credit card in her 88-year-old father’s name. She is accused of making almost $4,500 in unauthorized charges.
  • A daughter is accused stealing some $11,470 from her mother’s Social Security income. The 84-year-old mother, who has since died, had Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
  • A son is accused of taking the title of his legally blind mother’s house. Court documents allege that the D.C. man presented the 82-year-old with power of attorney documents while she was hospitalized. The documents enabled the defendant to take the title of her house, worth $225,880. The defendant also had control of the woman’s pension and had not made any payments to her long-term care facility, leaving his mother with over $16,000 past due.
  • A home health aide is accused of making personal purchases on the card of a 61-year-old man who had disabilities and uses a wheelchair. In addition to fines and restitution, the attorney general’s office wants the defendant to be prohibited from future employment involving elderly and vulnerable adults.
  • A daughter is accused of stealing her mother’s Social Security income. The attorney general’s office said the defendant stole from her 87-year-old mother who has schizophrenia, kidney disease and a major depressive disorder. The defendant is also accused of withdrawing over $3,000 and spending over $500 on hotels.

“OAG’s Elder Justice team will not hesitate to bring legal action against perpetrators who, emboldened by this time of uncertainty, exploit elderly or vulnerable adults,” Racine said.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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