A Growing Concern: Elder Abuse Cases in California

Financial exploitation of the elderly is a severe crime that devastates seniors and their loved ones. Unfortunately, the culprits in these cases can be those an elderly individual trusts and loves most. The simple fact is that elder abuse cases in California continue to occur. To put things in perspective, explore our expert case study of one of the more heinous recent elder abuse cases of 2022, and contact a premier attorney if an elderly loved one has fallen victim to one of these insidious scams:

A 2022 Case Study: Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

Financial exploitation of the elderly is an issue that shows no signs of subsiding. Nothing reflects this more than recent elder abuse cases in California.

Take, for example, a recent incident that occurred in Irvine. On Thursday, December 8th,  35-year-old Lashawn Ellesse Owens pleaded not guilty to stealing approximately $373,000 from her cancer-stricken grandmother, Phyllis Owens.

Recent elder abuse cases in 2022, like this one, illustrate the most alarming aspects of this exploitation: those closest to us can perpetrate it, and everyone is vulnerable. Lashawn was charged with grand theft, theft from an elder, and stealing a car.

Lashawn’s family enlisted her to care for her ailing 72-year-old grandmother after she received a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. However, Phyllis had received a settlement of $421,561.69 for injuries incurred from a car accident.

In combination with her medication that made her considerably weaker, this was the perfect storm for financial exploitation of the elderly as Lashawn facilitated correspondence between Phyllis and her financial institution.

As a result, Phyllis thought she was signing banking documents, but they were cashier’s checks. This scam exemplifies a trend at the heart of most elder abuse cases in California: predatory individuals identifying and taking advantage of a vulnerable condition.

“This was not shocking to me at all,” Abbas Gokal, a partner at Gokal Law Group, explained, “We see this occur daily. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the time, the money has been squandered by the family member or caretaker, so nothing is left for the victim.”

Lashawn received a $53,900 cashier’s check paid to Tesla, a $60,000 check paid to herself, $2,000 paid in cash, and another $10,000 in cash. Phyllis reported that she approved none of these transactions and never had discussions that would indicate approval.

Eventually, Lashawn allegedly convinced her grandmother to close her bank account and transfer her funds to her bank. Shortly after, Phyllis transferred $228,873 to a new account. It took just one week for Phyllis to evict her granddaughter, but the damage was done.

Phyllis was scared and intimidated, and when she tried using her new bank card, it was constantly denied. As a joint member on her grandmother’s account, Lashawn allegedly rejected all of Phyllis’ attempted transactions and reported them as fraud.

“Even though the judicial system has its flaws,” Abbas continued, “our team takes great pride in representing the victims of elder abuse.”

Contact Us for Premier Representation for Elder Abuse Cases in California

With so many recent elder abuse cases in 2022 alone, the reality is clear: financial exploitation of the elderly is an inexcusable threat that is, unfortunately, still going strong. Age renders everyone vulnerable to these predatory actors, and as we have discussed, it can be those closest to us who decide to take advantage. If you have a senior loved one who recently fell victim to one of these nefarious schemes, immediate action is essential to reversing damage and receiving justice.

Contact us for a consultation, and we will defend your senior loved one and deliver justice.

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