Elder Abuse Lawyers Educate What to Do if Victim of Financial Abuse

elder abuse lawyersThe elder abuse lawyers of Messa & Associates want to discuss what you should do if you recognize the signs and/or feel you have become a victim of financial abuse. It is not to late to defend yourself and rightfully punish the financial predator who is trying to harm you. The first step is recognizing that you are being taken advantage of and contacting the proper authorities. This may be difficult because often the accused is someone close to you such as a family member, good friend or caretaker. But you must be strong because what they have done is a crime. There are many agencies in place to help protect you from financial abuse.

Agencies To Contact

Police: If you feel you are in immediate danger call 911. To report the crime you should call your local police station on their non-emergency phone number

Adult Protective Services: Each state has an APS program that provide services working to ensure the safety of older adults and adults with disabilities who are being abused or neglected.

Long Term Care Ombudsmen: Ombudsmen are trained to resolve problems and provide information on how to find quality care. They are advocates for residents of nursing homes and assist with complaints about abuse or neglect.

New Jersey and Philadelphia Elder Abuse Lawyers

If you or your loved one has suffered financial abuse, negligence, and inadequacy, in addition to the agencies above you should also contact elder abuse lawyers. The team at Messa & Associates is dedicated to earning justice and compensation for those injured or worse by negligence and abuse in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Call, toll-free, 1-800-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry. If you would like immediate assistance, click the CHAT LIVE icon to the right. A representative is present right now to answer your questions.

Elder Abuse Lawyers: Caretaker Steals from 100-Year-Old Grandmother

Caretakers have an incredibly hard job taking care of the elderly on a daily basis. Often trusting a stranger feels too risky so someone close to the patient volunteers to take the role of caretaker. Even though most people want to believe that their loved ones wouldn’t take advantage of an elderly person’s vulnerable state, it happens every day. Elder abuse lawyers see situations all of the time where someone sees an opportunity to make some easy money from their elderly relative who in their mind doesn’t need the money anymore. No matter what the situation, this is still theft and elder abuse and should never be tolerated.

Granddaughter Gets Arrested for Exploiting and Stealing from Elderly Relative

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PA52-year-old Lynda S. Hutcheson is being accused of stealing almost $12,000 from her 100-year-old grandmother’s bank accounts in just a few months. She is being charged with grand theft, 39 counts of criminal use of personal identification and exploitation of the elderly. Hutcheson moved in with her mother and grandmother in April and started stealing from her within weeks. After a July 20 incident at Score Credit Union bank where she withdrew funds without authorization, an investigation looked into Hutcheson. They discovered that Hutcheson would drive the victim on daily errands to pick things up for her and used her grandmother’s credit cards. She would also get a large amount of money out of the bank, buy small items for her grandmother and then save the rest of the money for herself. The bank contacted the victim’s family when the account was overdrawn and the situation became so bad that the missing money was originally reported by Hutcheson’s mother.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently being taken advantage of financially or physically, or they are a resident of a nursing home and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Elder Abuse Lawyers: Update on Woman Who Escaped Abusive Caretakers

A few months ago our elder abuse lawyers wrote a blog on an Arizona woman who escaped from her abusive caretakers. Ruthann Jacox, a 64-year-old woman who suffered from multiple sclerosis and has been bedridden for two years, was under the care of Lea Marie Hughes and her boyfriend Gilbert Pierre Peralta Jr. When a visitor came to the home Jacox asked them to take a picture of her back, which was covered in bedsores down to the bone, when she saw this she begged to be taken to the hospital. The police began to investigate the situation and discovered that Hughes limited Jacox’s liquid to one and a half quarts and only fed her between 700 and 1,000 calories a day. Jacox kept a journal of all of the abuse she suffered under their care.

Peralta Tells Media that Authorities Have the Story Wrong

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PAUnfortunately, even though she was away from her abusers and getting the medical attention that she needed, Jacox died at the Tucson Medical Center on November 8, 2011. Authorities are now saying that the couple also cleared the woman’s bank accounts and credit cards. But Peralta is saying that the stories about what happened to Jacox are not true. He says that both Hughes and himself loved Jacox as if she was family and did not abuse or neglect her. He said he cannot speak for the 12 to 15 hours a day he spent at work and cannot comment on her diet, but he used to make her egg sandwiches in the morning until she told him that she preferred that Hughes care for her. He did notice the weight loss but assumed that it was a result of the multiple sclerosis. He says that he was the one that saw the sores on her back and made the decision to go to the hospital. “I seen the wound and I said ‘Get the wheelchair. We’re going to take her in (to the hospital) right now,” Peralta said. He then wheeled Jacox to the car and Hughes drove her to the hospital while he stayed home with Hughes’ kids. He also said that they never stole from Jacox, she would give him $40 or $60 for gas money occasionally but he says he always paid her back. He also claims that Hughes would give him Jacox’s ATM card and tell him to withdraw money, but that they were given permission and he always gave the card back. “It was nothing damaging like they’re trying to say…Ruthann was my best friend. I took care of her as much as I could,” Peralta said.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently under the care of an individual or they are a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate and you would like to speak with one of our elder abuse lawyers, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Elder Abuse Lawyers Warn About Scams on the Elderly

The elderly are an extremely vulnerable population, both physically and mentally in some cases. That is why they are so often targeted for physical, emotional and financial abuse. As elder abuse lawyers, we want to warn you about the dangers plaguing the aging population. If you have a loved one that you feel is too trusting with their savings or access to their home or personal documents, then you need to warn them about the dangers of trusting strangers. There are many con men out there that will prey on the elderly and convince them that they are there to help, but are really robbing them of their entire life savings.

Woman Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Multiple Scams on the Elderly

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PADenise D’Sant- Angelo, 56, was sentenced to 11 years in California state prison after stealing thousands of dollars from the elderly. On June 8, 2010 she was found guilty of grand theft and sentenced to two years in prison for stealing $2,800 from local donors who were raising money for three nuns from the Sisters of Bethany Convent in Santa Barbara who had been evicted from their residence in 2007. While out on bail in 2008, she was arrested again and charged with six counts of felony financial elder abuse, six counts of felony grand theft, and one count of misdemeanor unlawful practice of law after she conned an elderly couple out of $20,000 after convincing them she would help them keep their home after threat of foreclosure. At the August 22, 2011 sentencing, Denise D’Sant- Angelo got 11 years in prison for her crimes. District Attorney Brian Cota said “She gave them hope they could keep their house when she only intended to keep their money.”

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently being taken advantage of financially, or they are a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Elder Abuse Lawyers: Family Faces Jail Time After Mother’s Death

It is always heartbreaking to hear a story about an elderly adult being neglected and abused by a family member. As elder abuse lawyers, we want to remind you to look out for the signs and not to be afraid to intervene if a family member is not providing enough care for an elderly relative. The family of an 83-year-old woman is facing serious charges of elder abuse after their neglect landed the bedridden woman in the hospital.

Mary Jane Baker was admitted to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center in January 2010 where she reportedly weighed only 60 pounds and was “malnourished, neglected, and suffered from multiple sores from her shoulders down to her feet.” She stayed in the hospital for a week before being moved to a nursing home, only to return to the hospital on March 3, 2010 where she died six days later.

Several Relatives Convicted in Elder Abuse Case

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PABaker’s 63-year-old daughter, Sherry Lynn Mundy, has been convicted of severe neglect and sentenced to three years in prison. Judge Kathleen Beckstead suspended all but a year and a day of the Mundy’s sentence, which she will serve in state prison. According to prosecutor Joel Todd, “The fact that she imposed Division of Corrections time as opposed to local time should be a big deterrent to anyone else who might be thinking about a neglecting a vulnerable adult.” Mundy is also required to serve three years of supervised probation and is banned from being a caregiver for a vulnerable adult or anyone older than 65 years old.

Baker’s other daughter, 56-year-old Amy Jane Davis, was convicted of similar charges and sentenced to five years in prison with all but 30 days suspended. Davis only lived in the home with the victim for 6 months, “That certainly mitigated the amount of time Ms. Davis was going to get,” Todd said. Baker’s husband, 85-year-old George Wilbur Baker, and granddaughter, 27-year-old Michelle Lynn Hundley, have also been charged and are still awaiting their sentencing hearings.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently under the care of an individual or care facility and you have witnessed them being abused, you have noticed strange bruises, scratches or sores, or you fear that the care they are receiving may be considered negligent or abusive, our professional elder abuse lawyers can address your questions and concerns. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Elder Abuse Lawyers: Woman Pleads Guilty to Abusing Her Mother

It seems that lately, we are writing more and more about the elderly being neglected and abused by their adult children. As the economy worsens, less people can afford to go into a nursing home or long term care facility and find themselves depending on family members for essential, life sustaining care. But caring for an elderly adult is a huge responsibility and requires a commitment that not everyone is able to follow through with. It is unfortunate that our elder abuse lawyers see so many of these cases and have to warn the elderly to look out for signs of abuse and neglect from their own children.

Woman Waited a Week after Her Mother Died to Call for Help

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PA On November 19, 2010, Nancy Byrd Lewis, 59, called 911 to report that her 79-year-old mother, Hazel Tolbert Byrd, was unresponsive. When the paramedics arrived at the house where the two women lived, they found Byrd lying in bed covered in several days worth of feces, urine, and maggots from her waist to her feet. The State Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy and determined that Byrd had been dead for at least a week before the 911 call was made. The autopsy also said that she was filthy, had matted hair and several skin ulcers. This led to an investigation where officials found that in 2005 Byrd suffered a stroke and moved in with Lewis, who took the role of her mother’s caretaker. The elderly woman also suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes, but did not take any of her medications nor had she visited a doctor since being released from the hospital.

Lewis was arrested in March 2010 and charged with domestic abuse, neglect, and exploitation of disabled or elder adults. She recently pled guilty to felony elder abuse, was sentenced to eight months of probation and 100 hours of community service, ordered to pay court costs, and cannot work at a day care of retirement facility.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently under the care of an individual or they are a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate and you would like to speak with one of our elder abuse lawyers, Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Elder Abuse Lawyers Warn of the “Grandparent Scam”

It is always disheartening to hear stories about the elderly and disabled being scammed or taken advantage of for their money. The elderly can be vulnerable and more trusting of others, so those with bad intentions prey on them as easy targets. As elder abuse lawyers, we strongly urge you to be careful of who you trust and to be wary of where you leave financial documents and account numbers – do not leave them where strangers can access them.

Elderly Scammed Out of Thousands Over the Phone

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PA A very popular scam in recent years has been to call elderly adults pretending to be a grandchild, asking for money to be wired due to some emergency. This Grandparent Scam has cost people thousands of dollars all over the country. The scam has been around for several years, but it has gotten more elaborate lately. Originally, scammers would call and slowly get details from the victim through the conversation. Now-a-days, the caller will already know detailed information before they make the call. They will immediately identify themselves as a grandchild by name and give other details about their lives in order to increase credibility. Officials are warning everyone, especially the elderly, to never send money to family members or loved ones unless you can be certain you are sending it to the right person. It is easy for predators to access personal information so you must ask more than just basic information.

Floyd Adcock, a 78-year-old man from California, was conned out of almost $3,000 from a man pretending to be his grandson. On November 3 at 10:30 a.m., Adcock answered a phone call from a man saying that he had been in an accident in Mexico and needed $2,900 wired to him. Thinking it was his grandson, Adcock wired the money, costing him $2,988. After the money went through, the elderly man found out that his grandson had never been to Mexico and that he had been scammed out of the money.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently being taken advantage of financially, or they are a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Elder Abuse Lawyers: Woman Found in her Own Waste Fused to Chair

Caring for an elderly parent is an incredibly difficult task. As elder abuse lawyers, we see far too many cases of abuse and neglect that involve an adult child disregarding the needs of their vulnerable parent. If your mother or father is being cared for by another sibling, it is very important to check up on them just as you would if the parent was in a nursing home or under the care of another aide.

Son Neglects Mother While Telling His Sister She is Fine

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PA At the end of October the police went to the son of 74-year-old Carol Brown’s home to find her unresponsive and living in deplorable conditions. The paramedics rushed Brown to the hospital but she died several days later. According to the officers who entered the home, they described Brown as a rotting corpse that was still breathing.” The rescue crews had to pry her from the leather recliner because her legs had become fused to the chair. Court documents also revealed that she was sitting in her own bodily fluids and waste with a swollen ankle wound with maggots inside. According to Brown’s daughter Laura Sanders, the doctors told her “There were sores on her back the size of a man’s fist.”

Sanders told officials that her brother, James Owens, had been caring for their mother for the past two years. “I know he neglected her,” Sanders said. “He had not fed her in a week. He left her in her own waste. How can you do that to your mother?” She said that she did not check on her mother because her brother always insisted that she was fine. She continued by saying “Knowing that she died and it may have been prevented? … I’m so far passed crying. I am just real mad! I’m beyond mad!” Owens has not yet been charged. The police are waiting for the autopsy results before getting prosecutors involved.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently under the care of an individual or care facility and you have witnessed them being abused, you have noticed strange bruises, scratches or sores, or you fear that the care they are receiving may be considered negligent or abusive, our professional elder abuse lawyers can address your questions and concerns. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Elder Abuse Lawyers: Product Increases Safety for Dementia Patients

As elder abuse lawyers, we know having a parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia has a long list of day-to-day challenges. For those who have a parent that has tendencies to wander from the home there is also an added element of constant fear. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are nearly 6 million people with Alzheimer’s in this country and studies have shown that 60 percent of those who suffer from the disease will wander off and become lost. Sadly, about half of those who do get lost and are not found within 24 hours might die. Dr. Andrew Carle, director of the senior housing administration at George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services said, “They might be living in their home but they’re confused… They go for a walk and they can get lost for days.” The problem with Alzheimer’s suffers wandering off is “they don’t think they’re lost. They may actually hide. Paranoia is a manifestation of the disease. So search and rescue is hard to do,” says Carle.

GPS Shoe Will Alert Family of Wondering Alzheimer’s Sufferers

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PA Carle has served as an advisor on a project by the GTX Corporation to develop location-tracking shoes with a GPS in the heel. They were developing the shoe for marathon runners and children when Carle “pointed out why this was an ideal technology for people with dementia who wander.” There has been GPS pocket devices, wristbands, and bracelets and pendants with names and contact numbers on the market but these were easily lost or removed. The wearer is much less likely to remove their shoes. The shoe’s technology will allow a family member to set a perimeter such as the house and yard that the wearer can move around freely, “But if he breaks the fence, Google maps pops up on my computer or my phone to show me where he is,” Carle explained. When it comes out on the market, the shoe is going to cost about $300 with a $30 to $40 monthly subscription fee.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently a resident of a nursing home or care facility, we encourage you to visit frequently and be very observant of any scratches, bruises, or anything that does not look right. If you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate and would like to speak to one of our elder abuse lawyers, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Elder Abuse Lawyers Warn of Financial Theft

Financial elder abuseis unfortunately on the rise, happening more and more often to our aging population as the demographic gains a reputation for being an easy target for scams and/or theft. Therefore, the elderly need to be more careful about their finances and who they trust in their homes. As elder abuse lawyers, we sadly hear horrible stories about trusting people who get taken for their entire life savings because of one mistake. Make sure to keep all of your financial documents and checks in a secure, preferably locked, location where strangers or even family or friends cannot locate. Be careful of home health aides and housekeepers. Even those with good intentions may take advantage if given the opportunity.

Woman Arrested Twice for Stealing and Cashing Checks

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PA Edna Lena Morales, 48, was arrested for the second time on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 for suspicion of elder abuse, forgery and possession of stolen property. She was arrested for the first time on October 17, 2011 after an investigation of her cashing several checks that belonged to an 83-year-old woman. The woman’s bank contacted her in September about the checks and she told them that Morales worked as her housekeeper, cleaning and cooking meals a few times a week. The elderly woman confronted Morales and she agreed to pay the money back. She wrote a check for $4,000 but the check bounced. Police also believe that Morales used the woman’s credit card charging more than $1,200, but Morales told them that the woman gave her permission to use the credit card.

A week later, a second woman went to the police to report that Morales cashed one of her checks for the amount of $5,000 leading to her second arrest. She is currently being held at the Merced County Jail on $130,000 bail.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently being taken advantage of financially, or they are a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate , our professional elder abuse lawyers can help you. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.