The Pennsylvania Supreme Court created an Elder Abuse Task Force to address fraud and financial abuse of senior citizens in frail mental or physical health. The Pennsylvania Attorney General has likewise appointed a special Elder Abuse Unit of investigators and prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against those who take advantage of the elderly.
If you stand accused of stealing from or defrauding an elderly parent or vulnerable adult, you need experienced legal representation to protect yourself from the fallout. A conviction for theft or elder abuse can have long-term implications for professional licenses and employment, and may carry jail time, fines, community service and other penalties.
Financial Abuse Of The Elderly Is Taken Very Seriously
Bentley, Kopecki, Smith, P.C., represents caregivers, legal guardians, family members and those accused of elder fraud scams in Berks County and the surrounding counties of southeast Pennsylvania. Our criminal defense lawyers will do everything we can to avoid formal fraud charges or mitigate the criminal penalties and collateral consequences.
Most elder abuse is perpetrated by family members. A common scenario involves an adult child who has power of attorney or is the court-appointed legal guardian. Access to bank accounts can prove tempting, especially if the family member has a drug habit, gambling problem or other financial woes. Another common scenario is a pattern of theft by nurses, hospice workers or family caregivers who tend an elderly person who is vulnerable because of dementia, mental illness or health problems. Lastly, mentally compromised individuals are highly susceptible to phone scams, door-to-door scams and other types of fraud that target the elderly.
The courts are very protective of vulnerable adults, and come down especially hard on those who have a fiduciary duty (appointed guardians) or a professional duty (licensed care workers). Our goal is to avoid jail or prison if at all possible. First-time offenders may qualify for alternative sentencing programs that substitute probation, restitution and other conditions for incarceration. It takes a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to negotiate this kind of leniency, or to fight the allegations at trial, and to recognize which approach is best for your situation.
A Vigorous Defense Of Every Client
Our elder fraud defense attorneys provide a free initial consultation if you have been arrested or investigated for crimes against the elderly. Call us at (610) 685-8000, or contact us online. We can meet with you at our office in Reading or Lebanon, and we can arrange jail visits.