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ALERT: Legal representation for seniors who have been financially exploited
Posted on March 23, 2017

Grant funds have been found to continue the effort to combat the financial exploitation of seniors and vulnerable adults for at least one more year, says Jeffrey H. Myers, Assistant Attorney General, Maryland Department of Aging.

Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General Pursues Asset Recovery On Behalf of Senior Citizens and Vulnerable Adults

Good News about Senior Asset Recovery – Grant funds have been found to continue the effort to combat the financial exploitation of seniors and vulnerable adults for at least one more year, says Jeffrey H. Myers, Assistant Attorney General, Maryland Department of Aging.

Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General is pursuing asset recovery on behalf of financially exploited senior citizens (aged 68 or older) and other vulnerable adults (a person who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for his or her daily needs) by bringing a civil action for damages on their behalf against persons who financially exploited them by way of deception, intimidation or undue influence.

This initiative is the result of recently passed legislation, effective July 1, 2016, that was passed by the Maryland legislature and signed by the Governor during the 2016 legislative session. The new law is now codified as Commercial Law §13-204(15), which states that in addition to any other of its powers and duties, the Consumer Protection Division has the powers and duties to:

(15)(i) Bring a civil action for damages against a person who violates § 8-801 of the Criminal Law Article on behalf of a victim of the offense or, if the victim is deceased, the victim’s estate;
(ii) Recover damages under this item for property loss or damage;

  1. b) Conviction of offense of exploitation of vulnerable adults not prerequisite to action. — A conviction for an offense under § 8-801 of the Criminal Law Article is not a prerequisite for maintenance of an action under subsection (a) (15) of this section.

 

Criminal Law § 8-801 states that:

 

(b)(1) A person may not knowingly and willfully obtain by deception, intimidation, or undue influence the property of an individual that the person knows or reasonably should know is a vulnerable adult with intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of the vulnerable adult’s property.

(2) A person may not knowingly and willfully obtain by deception, intimidation, or undue influence the property of an individual that the person knows or reasonably should know is at least 68 years old, with intent to deprive the individual of the individual’s property.

 

The law is aimed at all abusers who financially exploit seniors or other vulnerable adults, including persons who are close to and trusted by the victim (such as family members, caregivers, financial advisors, accountants, attorneys) as well as complete strangers using phony magazine subscriptions, prize scams, donations to nonexistent charities and retrieval of personal financial information under false pretenses.

Studies have shown that senior citizens and other vulnerable adults are often reluctant to report abuse because they feel afraid, embarrassed, humiliated or ashamed. In addition, they frequently rely on the abuser for everyday functioning (such as caregivers and/or family members), and fear loss of their current life style or living arrangements if the abuse is reported; or they wish to protect the abuser, who may be a child or grandchild.

If you observe what you believe is financial exploitation of a senior citizen or other vulnerable adult, or seek more information concerning whether financial exploitation is occurring, please immediately contact:

Robert E. Frey

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
200 St. Paul Place, 16th floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
410-576-6575
rfrey@oag.state.md.us

Speak confidentially with one of our attorneys.

410 337 8900

What our

clients say…

Testimonial1

“We were very pleased with the firms professionalism and courteous way we were treated. We would recommend your firm to our friends and family.”

Testimonial2

“Thanks so very much for all of your work with this tremendous achievement. Our family is very blessed to have you in our world and Angelo would thank you for our family if he could. Your amazing efforts and perseverance on this case were outstanding. Thank you!”

Testimonial3

“My mom and I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done for our family. We would have been lost without you, and your guidance and understanding throughout the last several months meant a lot to us. Thank you also for the kind professional courtesy on the last billing statement – that was most kind. I’m sure I’ll be calling you down the road for help later with mom (but hoping that will be a while) and with our own future planning. Thank you again for everything.”

Testimonial4

“I just want to thank you and your paralegal staff again for all the help you were to me and to my family. Your advice on the gifting process and all your work in navigating the Medicaid application in general was very greatly appreciated. Having all that work done prior to my dad’s death has made things a whole lot easier for all of us. Although he was never in a position to know anything about what was going on, I’m sure my dad would also have truly appreciated all the kindness and patience shown to us by you and your staff.”

Testimonial 5

“Many thanks to you and Kandace for all of your help during this matter. Your professionalism, helpful guidance and assistance made a trying and stressful situation much easier to handle. I would not hesitate to recommend your firm to anyone else facing elder care issues.”

Testimonial 6

“No words to express how terrific your whole team has been, both legally — and in terms of your compassion, patience, and understanding.

Thanks again!”

Testimonial 7

“Kandace was instrumental in helping my parents move into a retirement/medical facility when my Dad had his stroke. She took care of everything from finances to wills. We never could have successfully settled my parents without her guidance and knowledge. Her firm also helped my neighbor with their long term care needs as well. A-plus Service!”

C. Supik

Testimonial 8

“I have greatly appreciated Phyllis Erlich’s legal counsel since 2006 for my mother and legal needs. You have always been friendly, caring and professional. I never hesitated to recommend your law firm to my friends.”

Testimonial 9

“Phyllis and Jeannette are outstanding professionals. They were as always (we go back to ‘96) a pleasure and a blessing to work with. I’m glad to know them both.”

Testimonial 10

“Greetings Kandace…I was speaking with a client yesterday who is the third or fourth client to mention your name; praising the work you have done with their parents or significant other. Being in this business for 11 years now, it is not very common to hear constant praise for someone tied to the financial industry. Just wanted to thank you for the work that you do! Well done!”


What our

clients say…

Testimonial1

“We were very pleased with the firms professionalism and courteous way we were treated. We would recommend your firm to our friends and family.”

Testimonial2

“Thanks so very much for all of your work with this tremendous achievement. Our family is very blessed to have you in our world and Angelo would thank you for our family if he could. Your amazing efforts and perseverance on this case were outstanding. Thank you!”

Testimonial3

“My mom and I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done for our family. We would have been lost without you, and your guidance and understanding throughout the last several months meant a lot to us. Thank you also for the kind professional courtesy on the last billing statement – that was most kind. I’m sure I’ll be calling you down the road for help later with mom (but hoping that will be a while) and with our own future planning. Thank you again for everything.”

Testimonial4

“I just want to thank you and your paralegal staff again for all the help you were to me and to my family. Your advice on the gifting process and all your work in navigating the Medicaid application in general was very greatly appreciated. Having all that work done prior to my dad’s death has made things a whole lot easier for all of us. Although he was never in a position to know anything about what was going on, I’m sure my dad would also have truly appreciated all the kindness and patience shown to us by you and your staff.”

Testimonial 5

“Many thanks to you and Kandace for all of your help during this matter. Your professionalism, helpful guidance and assistance made a trying and stressful situation much easier to handle. I would not hesitate to recommend your firm to anyone else facing elder care issues.”

Testimonial 6

“No words to express how terrific your whole team has been, both legally — and in terms of your compassion, patience, and understanding.

Thanks again!”

Testimonial 7

“Kandace was instrumental in helping my parents move into a retirement/medical facility when my Dad had his stroke. She took care of everything from finances to wills. We never could have successfully settled my parents without her guidance and knowledge. Her firm also helped my neighbor with their long term care needs as well. A-plus Service!”

C. Supik

Testimonial 8

“I have greatly appreciated Phyllis Erlich’s legal counsel since 2006 for my mother and legal needs. You have always been friendly, caring and professional. I never hesitated to recommend your law firm to my friends.”

Testimonial 9

“Phyllis and Jeannette are outstanding professionals. They were as always (we go back to ‘96) a pleasure and a blessing to work with. I’m glad to know them both.”

Testimonial 10

“Greetings Kandace…I was speaking with a client yesterday who is the third or fourth client to mention your name; praising the work you have done with their parents or significant other. Being in this business for 11 years now, it is not very common to hear constant praise for someone tied to the financial industry. Just wanted to thank you for the work that you do! Well done!”

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