Sunday, January 6, 2008

Thieves Love POA's When it Comes to Elders

Chatham Daily,Canada 01/06/08 A Tilbury couple accused of defrauding a Riverview Gardens resident out of approximately $110,000 will be in court later this month.

Officials with the Chatham nursing home contacted the Chatham-Kent Police Service last March citing concerns over the misuse of power-of-attorney.

It is alleged the money had been misappropriated from the victim’s community bank account by the couple, who are in their 50s.

The names of the accused — who were arrested Dec. 20 — weren’t released. Neither was their relationship to the victim.

Police say the couple held the power-of-attorney designation for the past several years.

The accused face charges of theft by person with power-of-attorney and criminal breach of trust.

Det. Jim Niven, of the criminal investigation branch, was on the case. However, he couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday and no further information was available.

The couple will appear in court Jan. 16 to speak to the charges.

A media release issued by Deputy Chief Dennis Poole stated that elder abuse of all forms — be it physical, emotional or financial — is a growing concern to police and the long-term care community.

As their residents are often vulnerable citizens, nursing homes report all suspicious activities to police, as well as the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) of Ontario.

Anyone concerned about potential elder abuse can call police or the OPGT at 1-800-366-0335.

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1 comment:

rskirk55 said...

I remember the first time I heard of this type of crime about 10 years ago. A skilled nursing home administrator, I thought (never do this) that I had heard it all. We even had a sort of cynical mantra used in family disputes, "Look for the money." Since then, however, this sort of fraud and abuse comes to light almost monthly with new twists and turns. I am not sure of the answer, other that I want to apply that Old West principle of "Hang 'em High." Steve Kirk writes a blog for seniors at www.theperfectsense.com.