It is a tragic truth: When it comes to elder financial abuse, California seniors continue to be prime targets for those who commit these crimes. Unfortunately, this is an issue that will never subside. Age renders everyone vulnerable, and this crime can be committed by anyone at any time and any place. If you or a loved one have fallen victim to elder abuse, contacting an elder abuse attorney in California is essential.
To explore the reality of this transgression and what makes it so pervasive, read a case study of a recent instance of elder financial exploitation:
A Case Study of Elder Financial Abuse in California
When evaluating elder financial abuse in California, there is a common thread: anyone can be a victim, and anyone can be a culprit.
“This is a crime that still occurs all the time, and the saddest part is that a family member can be a frequent perpetrator,” Abbas K. Gokal, a partner and financial elder abuse attorney at Gokal Law Group, explained. “It will, unfortunately, continue to plague the elderly community because they remain vulnerable.”
Take, for example, a recent incident of elder financial abuse in California where a former Orange County bank manager admitted in federal court to purloining a staggering $1.2 million from seniors by assuming control over their bank account without their knowledge.
During her hearing at the federal courthouse in Santa Ana, 59-year-old Lana Pothos accepted a plea deal that required her to admit to one count of bank fraud.
This plea deal revealed the dark reality of this crime. Pothos admitted that, while employed as a relationship manager at a Bank of America branch in Yorba Linda, she siphoned the savings of two married elderly customers from their shared account.
In what the agreement refers to as a “sophisticated” scheme that hinged on her access as a trusted bank representative, Pothos used the couple’s personal information from the bank database without their knowledge to open a new bank profile for them.
Using the bank’s internal computer system, Pothos then changed their mailing address to a hair salon she was a regular at and their phone number to one she controlled to call the bank and impersonate one of the victims.
“What we see from these criminals and their schemes,” Abbas added, “is something that makes elder financial abuse in California so difficult to stop: They constantly adapt with an insidious sophistication to avoid detection.”
The alleged co-schemer, 49-year-old Theron Fox, faces similar accusations of opening a new bank account and creating an email address under one of the senior’s names. Between July and October 2020, a little over $1.2 million was moved out of their account and into these schemers’ accounts.
Eventually, it was moved again to accounts they opened with other banks, which they used for personal expenses, devastating a couple’s lives for their selfish pleasure.
“Ultimately, this reflects two things that are often at the heart of this unacceptable and heinous crime,” Abbas concluded, “these predatory culprits are people these victims trust, and they are people in a position of power and influence. It doesn’t matter who you ask; every elder abuse attorney witnesses this time-and-time-again.”
Contact Gokal Law Group to Receive Justice for Elder Financial Abuse in California
In a perfect world, elder financial abuse in California would be a thing of the past. But this world is far from perfect, and the threat of this crime continues to abound and ruin lives. If you or a loved one have fallen victim to this crime, contacting an elder abuse attorney is critical to recover losses, renew integrity, and receive the justice you deserve.
Fortunately, at Gokal Law Group, we boast the expertise and experience to protect seniors, and our passion empowers victims to emerge with their dignity intact. Call us at (949) 753-9100, or contact us to schedule a consultation.