Financial elder abuse and exploitation costs victims up to an estimated $2.6 billion annually. Although the number of reported cases is on the rise, financial abuse is often more difficult to detect and less widely reported than physical abuse because a person of trust such as a family member, or a fiduciary such as an investment advisor, is more likely to perpetrate the abuse. These factors create unique challenges in preventing, detecting, and responding to cases of financial exploitation and abuse.
AIDIKOFF LAW represents individuals and/or their estates throughout Southern California for claims of elder financial abuse. Our Elder Abuse Lawyers specialize in pursuing financial elder abuse claims against Broker Dealers, Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms, caretakers, and any other business that scams, takes advantage of, or simply looks the other way during a suspicious transaction involving an elder, including car dealerships and Insurance brokers.
Under California’s Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA), Welf. & Inst. Code section 15610.30, “Financial abuse” of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following:
- Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
- Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
- Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult by undue influence, as defined in Section 1575 of the Civil Code.
- A person or entity shall be deemed to have taken, secreted, appropriated, obtained, or retained property for a wrongful use if, among other things, the person or entity takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains the property and the person or entity knew or should have known that this conduct is likely to be harmful to the elder or dependent adult.
- For purposes of this section, a person or entity takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property when an elder or dependent adult is deprived of any property right, including by means of an agreement, donative transfer, or testamentary bequest, regardless of whether the property is held directly or by a representative of an elder or dependent adult.
In addition, California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) prohibits specified unfair and deceptive acts and practices in a transaction intended to result or which results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer. Cal. Civ. Code § 1770 subd.(a) It also authorizes the recovery of punitive damages, three times actual damages, five-thousand dollars ($5,000), as well as reasonable attorney fees, when the victim is a senior citizen (defined as 65 years or older). Cal. Civ. Code § 1780, et seq.
And last, California prohibits unfair competition and deceptive trade practices, providing seniors victimized under the law to recover treble damages if it is found that the defendant “knew or should have known that his or her conduct was directed to one or more senior citizens or disabled persons.” Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.