Articles Posted in Financial Elder Abuse

First Nursing Home Facility Rating System in California

As the population of California continues to age, and more baby boomers find themselves thinking about San Diego assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, it is becoming more important than ever to ensure that seniors in the San Diego area are protected from nursing home abuse and neglect.  According to a recent story San Diego CBS 8, San Diego County leaders currently are in the process of developing an elder care facility rating system that is aimed at preventing elder abuse.

file0001867553256According to the news story, the new rating system will be the first of its kind in California.  The ratings will be based on several different factors, and the Board of Supervisors hopes that the system will allow families to make informed decisions about the care of their elderly loved ones. The system is still in its early stages, but the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved its creation, emphasizing the need to protect older adults from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in Southern California facilities.

Are nursing homes in California abiding by federal regulations for reporting allegations of elder abuse or neglect?  According to a recent report released by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), not all facilities are reporting incidents of nursing home abuse.

Reporting Requirements and IncrHHSeasing Rates of Elder Abuse

The HHS report emphasized that about five million elderly Americans (or ten percent of the elderly population) sustain injuries from physical abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.  However, these crimes are not always reported.

recent article in the Sacramento Bee reported on an attorney in the northern California area who was charged with financial elder abuse.  At the Walton Law Firm, we take elder financial abuse very seriously.  As an Elder Justice Advocate, Randy Walton is committed to protecting older Americans from crimes such the ones that occurred recently in Sacramento.  When looking for an elder lawyer to help with your legal issues, you should not need to worry whether you will be treated fairly. Contact our office today to learn more about our dedication to safeguarding elders in the San Diego area and throughout the state.

file000453200083Scams Target Elderly Californians

According to the Bee article, in late August, authorities arrested Delbert Joe Modlin, 63, on charges of financial elder abuse, grand theft, and securities fraud.  His release on bail conditioned that he agree not to practice law or see clients until the criminal proceedings ended.  Modlin has been licensed to practice law in California since 1987.

Southern California Insurance Agent Charged with Financial Abuse

Elder abuse comes in many forms, from physical violence to financial fraud.  A recent article in Consumer Affairs reported that a licensed insurance agent in Southern California was recently arrested fo  elder financial abuse.  The insurance agent, John Paul Slawinski, 59, was charged with “five felony counts of financial elder abuse and five counts of burglary.”  What did he do?  Specifically, the charges allege that he “ripped off five senior citizens for more than $2 million through the sale and surrender of investment annuity products.”

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Earlier in the summer, the California Department of Insurance received complaints about Slawinski and decided to launch an investigation.  The complaints claimed that Slawinski had convinced five different senior citizens to give up annuities and investments, promising that he could get them higher returns on their money.  Yet Slawinksi never purchased additional annuities or investment products with the seniors’ money, and he never gave back the funds, either.  In other words, he “conned the victims into giving him money to invest for them.”

Plug In

Elder abuse and nursing home neglect are crimes that aren’t confined to physical or emotional abuse.  In fact, every year many older Americans become victims of financial mistreatment.  A recent article in the New York Times reports that the AARP has developed a new interactive online tool—a map of sorts—to prevent fraudulent practices that target the elderly.  The tool is available to California seniors and older adults across the country.

Are you concerned that your elderly loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse?  It’s very important to contact an experienced elder law attorney as soon as possible.  Elderly financial abuse can prevent Americans from living comfortably during old age, and even worse, fraudulent schemes can prevent older adults from being able to pay for nursing home care or other expensive treatments they might require.  At the Walton Law Firm, we have significant experience handling many different types of elder abuse claims.  An elder justice advocate at our firm can talk with you today.

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Map

Have California seniors been subject to financial abuse? A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle reported that residents at an “exclusive continue-care community” for the elderly in Palo Alto might have been fraudulently cheated out of millions of dollars. In short, many of these older adults paid substantial fees—some as pricey as $2 million, according to the article—based on a promise from the company to repay the remainder if the resident moved or to repay the remainder to the resident’s next-of-kin in case of death. However, residents and their relatives are accusing the facility, the Vi at Palo Alto, of “reneging on a promise to return most of the money to them.”

Nursing home abuse can take many forms, and elder abuse is a term that refers to more than just physical abuse or elder neglect. As we’ve noted in recent news cases, the elderly can be particularly susceptible to financial abuse and instances of consumer fraud. Are you concerned that your older parent or relative has been the victim of a financial crime? The sooner you speak to an experienced elder law attorney, the quicker you’ll be able to take action for your elderly loved one. Contact the California nursing home abuse lawyers at the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about elder financial rights.

Financial Security and “High-End” Elder Living—Not What it Seems?

Have you been urged to place your elderly parent in hospice care despite the fact that he or she is not terminally ill? Hospice care is intended for patients who are terminally ill and for whom there is no cure. So why are healthy older adults ending up in hospice? A recent article in the Washington Post revealed that this phenomenon might be a larger problem than we’d like to think. Indeed, over the 2000s, the newspaper reported that the “number of ‘hospice survivors’ in the United States has risen dramatically.” What’s going on? According to the article, “hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying,” since “healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.”

Hospice.jpgIf you have been pressured to move a parent into hospice care, your elderly loved one might not receive the kind of treatment she or he needs. For-profit companies shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of older adults. Indeed, we might think of these actions as another form of elder abuse. It’s important to speak to an experienced elder law attorney about your options.

Hospice Discharge Statistics

In recent weeks, news agencies have reported on financial elder abuse and related laws and settlements in California. In connection with some of the elements of financial elder abuse discussed in prior cases, the Los Angeles Times recently reported that an insurance agent carried out serious financial crimes against his elderly aunt. Toward the end of November, the ex-insurance agent was arrested and charged with financial elder abuse connected to acts committed against his own aunt. A press release from the California Department of Insurance explained that the former life insurance agent, Myles Seishin Hanashiro, 47, “was arrested and booked at Los Angeles County Jail on four felony counts of financial elder abuse.”

Behind%20Bars.jpgNursing home abuse and crimes against the elderly can take many forms, and often, financial abuse can be just as harmful as physical or emotional abuse. If you suspect that your elderly loved one has been victimized, it’s never too early to contact an experienced California elder law attorney. At the Walton Law Firm, we know how vulnerable older adults can be, and we can help you to take action today.

Details of the Financial Elder Abuse

A few days ago, Los Angeles’ local ABC 10 News released an article about the Ensign Group’s agreement to a $48 million settlement related to claims of Medicare billing fraud at six nursing facilities in Southern California. And the Medicare fraud wasn’t the worst of it. According to the article, “the lawsuit also claimed some patients were kept in the nursing homes longer than was necessary.” Indeed, the story quickly became national news, as Market Watch from the Wall Street Journal reported on the pricey settlement brought about by the qui tam (or whistleblower) lawsuit.

Cash%20Stack%20Credit.jpgNursing home abuse has been in the spotlight in California over the last couple of months, and as a result, this news might not come as much of a surprise. But it does emphasize that, even though California elder advocates are creating substantial awareness campaigns, nursing home neglect and abuse continues to occur in our state. Do you have an elderly parent or loved one who currently resides in a nursing home or assisted-living facility? It’s important to make sure that your loved one receives the care she or he needs. If you suspect your older parent has been the victim of nursing home abuse, it’s important to contact an experienced California elder law attorney. The dedicated nursing home abuse lawyers at the Walton Law Firm have been handling these cases for years and can discuss your claim with you today.

Details of the Ensign Group’s Medicare Fraud

Last week, we told you about two consumer advocates who are at the heart of the assisted living reform movement in California. Chris Murphy, 67, and Chrisy Selder, 34, began “doing what the state should be doing” by forcing hands when it comes to nursing home abuse and neglect. In other words, they’re doing their own research into the conditions at nursing facilities across the state, they’re keeping specific records about deaths in assisted living facilities and other reports of abuse, and they’re making them available to consumers. Together, the two women formed the nonprofit organization Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform.

Chandelier.jpgAfter realizing that many incidents of abuse and neglect go unreported, or worse, unrecognized by the state as events that should incite criminal prosecution, the Murphy and Selder began contacting state prosecutors. They provided examples of the nursing home abuse they uncovered and urged prosecutors to bring charges against some of these facilities.

What led Murphy and Selder to engage in this important work in our state? As with many consumer advocates, their stories are personal ones that began close to home.