Financial fraud is the fastest growing form of elder abuse according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. The National Council on ageing estimates the annual loss due to elder financial abuse at $2.9 billion. 86 year old Charles Allen didn’t have that information before sending thousands of dollars to a elder financial fraud kingpin.
Allen received a flyer in the mail from Americare that advertised exactly the services he was seeking for his 86 year old wife. So in 2010, Allen called Americare and owner Michael Woodward came out to meet them in person. He was quite the charmer and sold the Allens on a plan which would only cost them $2,000 a year. Woodward even threw in a veteran’s discount for Charles.
A year and half later Allen sought help from his adult children. He had sent Woodward tens of thousands of dollars and Americare had not reimbursed him for the in-home care he and his wife had been receiving five days a week. An internet search about Woodward turned up many articles about his fraud. California’s insurance commissioner estimated Woodward’s total fraud at about $6 million.
Last April authorities finally caught up to Woodward and the San Diego district attorney’s elder abuse prosecution unit charged Woodward with defrauding 238 San Diego County seniors. Woodward plead guilty to 11 counts of fraud and is awaiting sentencing. He could face up to 11 years in prison.
Charles Allen is still hoping to get all of his money back.
If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of elder abuse, Aidikoff Law can help you.
Jeff Aidikoff is an elder abuse attorney in Los Angeles, CA. For questions or a free consultation call 800-981-5932.