California has joined the disturbing trend of sweeping unsuspecting seniors clean of their estates. Elder estate abuse is an addendum to physical or mental abuse of our nation’s geriatric population, typically when a sizeable amount of money stands to be gained by unscrupulous characters.
According to the California State Bar’s website, elder abuse involves various crimes, such as theft, assault, and identity theft that strike victims of all ages. But when the victim is 65 years of age or older, or, a disabled dependent adult, the criminal faces stiffer penalties. Greed, bolstered by a lackluster economy, was certainly coursing through the veins of San Juan Capistrano’s Jeffrey Butler. In the 1990s, Butler started Senior Information Services, to purportedly offer seniors help with estate planning. Fast forward to 2009, where he faces 874 felony counts of fraud and is accused of bilking 125 seniors of more than $11 million.
Oftentimes, estate abuse isn’t limited to seniors; it also distinguishes itself from other crimes in that, over 50% of the time, its victims have familial or fiduciary ties to the perpetrators. Look no further to the raging battles with Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson for proof. Lady Justice is disgusted with the blatant disregard for robbing people, both living and dead, of their hard-earned money. She will no doubt have all responsible parties feel the sting of her sword.
More information about elder abuse can be found on Calbar’s website at ELDER ABUSE.