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The OAAPI Financial Exploitation Data Book: A Retrospective look at Community based Financial Exploitation in 2011
By Rebecca Fetters, Operations and Policy Analyst
Table of Contents
Executive Summary Introduction
2 4 8 10 13 14 16 18 20 21
FE Trend Charts 23 24 27 29
How Does this Occur?
Who Are the Victims?
What is Taken From the Victims?
Reported Perpetrator Information PoA Relationships Other Fiduciary Relationships
Substantiation Rates Monetary Theft Medication Theft
Where Are the Victims?
County and District Distribution
What Can Be Done? The APS Program LEA Involvement Access to Records Next Steps
31 33 36 39
When Did this Happen?
The OAAPI Financial Exploitation Data Book: A Retrospective look at Community based Financial Exploitation in 2011 Executive Summary
The Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations (OAAPI) strives to ensure that Oregonians benefit from our increased capacity for outreach and education and our enhanced ability to compile and use data for identifying trends of abuse in Oregon communities that all of us live in. We have shared this message with Oregon communities recently by offering our first consolidated Annual Report that reflects our data and abuse trends for all vulnerable adults and children in licensed settings; both served by our office. (http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/abuse/pages/index.aspx) One of the abuse trends that have been a common theme for many years is financial exploitation of vulnerable adults who live in non-licensed settings throughout Oregon. Financial exploitation continues to be the most commonly reported type of abuse for individuals over the age of sixty five or those with physical disabilities living in the community. There is no doubt that financial exploitation is on the rise and not just in Oregon. A 2010 national study by MetLife estimated the annual financial loss to victims of financial abuse to be at least $2.9 billion dollars, a 12% increase from the $2.6 billion estimated in 2008. Not only is this type of abuse common but it often goes hand-in-hand with other types of abuse such as neglect of care, verbal or emotional abuse. For many of our vulnerable adults that are exploited this can mean years of hard work, money to pay basic living essentials such as food and electricity, and hopes for their future security are gone. Collectively, the financial exploitation of all of the vulnerable adults we serve deserves our attention.
It is time to take proactive measures to fully understand the scope of financial exploitation in our state and identify who the victims and perpetrators are, what is being taken, the type of methods being used to exploit our citizens and ultimately, how could it be stopped. This comprehensive retroactive study for 2011 is the first step in gaining a deeper understanding of the problem necessary to find the solutions. We hope to use the information contained in the following pages to perform targeted training to our local office, direct prevention education and efforts to the audiences most in need, and to help our elected officials and the general public better understand the vast impact financial exploitation has on our state. In closing, we recognize that partnerships with members in our community are vital to the prevention of financial abuse. We have partnered with the Oregon Bankers Association (OBA) and together, launched a new version of the toolkit, “Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation: How Banks Can Help.” (http://www.oregonbankers.com/community/elder-exploitationprevention). This resource will soon be in the hands of every bank doing business in Oregon, which means 20,000 bank employees will be better prepared to detect possible financial abuse and exploitation. This is one example of what our community can do to join us in addressing this issue for Oregon. I hope you find the study enlightening and useful but also to inspire you to join us in our continued commitment to action on this important issue.
Kind regards, Marie Cervantes
The OAAPI Financial Exploitation Data Book: A Retrospective look at Community based Financial Exploitation in 2011
Financial Exploitation of individuals over the age of 65 and with physical disabilities is the most commonly investigated type of abuse that Community Adult Protective Services addresses in the State of Oregon. In 2011, Community APS investigated 2782 allegations of Financial Exploitation. This study is an analysis of 419 investigative reports written in 2011. Each report was thoroughly read and the data reflected in the study gleaned from the report. The results can be applied with 95% accuracy to the larger pool of 2782 investigations. OAR 411-020-002 (1)(e) Defines Financial Exploitation as: (A) Wrongfully taking, by means including but not limited to deceit, trickery, subterfuge, coercion, harassment, duress, fraud, or undue influence, the assets, funds, property, or medications belonging to or intended for the use of an adult; (B) Alarming an adult by conveying a threat to wrongfully take or appropriate money or property of the adult if the adult would reasonably believe that the threat conveyed would be carried out; (C) Misappropriating or misusing any money from any account held jointly or singly by an adult; or (D) Failing to use income or assets of an adult for the benefit, support, and maintenance of the adult.
When reading this report, keep in mind the following:
• Financial Exploitation occurs in facility settings as well. However, for the purposes of this study, only community based investigations were analyzed. • Although this study does not include facility investigations, some of the reported victims do live in facilities. They are considered community investigations because the reported perpetrator is not an employee or agent of the facility. • The theft of “hours” referenced in the study generally involves state paid home care workers falsifying their pay records. • The category of “free rent” involves reported perpetrators living with the reported victim without contributing to household costs while increasing overall costs to the victim. This would only be substantiated abuse if it were occurring without the victim’s consent, with a victim unable to provide consent, or as a result of undue influence. • The tables in this report have been color coded solely for the purposes of easily delineating between those numbers above and below the statewide average; above average numbers being in green cells and below average being in red. • The case summaries included in this document are from actual 2011 investigations and reports. Identity and minor details have been altered in the interest of confidentiality, but the circumstances in the summaries remain accurate. • Every effort was made to avoid the use of acronyms in this report, however, space constraints occasionally made it necessary. The following is a list of abbreviations you may encounter: APS FE LE MDT NRCG PoA RP RV Adult Protective Services Financial Exploitation Law Enforcement Multi-Disciplinary Team Non Relative Care Giver Power of Attorney Reported Perpetrator* Reported Victim* *Reported Victim and Reported Perpetrator are currently the terms used in the Oregon APS system to identify these parties in an investigation. They are used in this report for the purposes of consistency.
Data in this report is often divided by Districts. Each District includes the following Counties:
District Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16W 16CC
Counties Included Tillamook, Clatsop Multnomah Marion, Polk, Yamhill Linn, Benton, Lincoln Lane Douglas Coos, Curry Jackson, Josephine Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook Klamath, Lake Morrow, Umatilla Wallowa, Union, Baker Grant, Harney, Malheur Clackamas Washington Columbia
Lastly, when reading this report, it is critical to both understand and remember the underlying principles and values of the Adult Protective Services Program. Although the primary focus of the APS process is on the health and safety of the reported victim, this is balanced with the duty to protect their right to self-determination. The fact that someone is physically disabled or over the age of 65 does not, in and of itself, make them vulnerable or incapacitated. As long as an individual has the cognitive capacity to understand the consequences of their choices and actions, and providing they are not being subject to the undue influence of others, they retain the authority and right to make those choices. This remains true no matter how harmful or inappropriate those choices may seem to concerned family or community members. This is often a point of great frustration and APS staff frequently hear questions such as, “How can you allow this to happen?” and “Why can’t you do something about this?” It is incumbent upon the APS investigator to determine cognitive capacity and the possibility of undue influence during the course of their investigation. However, once it is established that an individual has the capacity to make their own choices and is doing so of their own free will, to attempt to infringe upon those rights would be well outside the scope of the APS process.
• Ms. M was an active and independent 67 year old, living on her own, when she needed to hire a care giver to assist her following surgery. The care giver was only employed for a few months, but that was all that it took for that individual to open a credit account in the RV’s name, run up over $6500 in charges, and transfer over $14,000 from the RV’s other bank accounts. Mr. J was 47 years old when he needed to move to a nursing facility to receive the care he needed as the result of a traumatic brain injury. Due to that same injury, Mr. J was unable to manage his own disability payments and an acquaintance who Mr. J trusted was appointed as his representative payee. Mr. J’s representative payee failed to use his funds to pay for his care at the nursing facility, putting his placement in jeopardy, and was unable to account for how the funds had been spent. Receipts showed that some of the funds had been used for the benefit of the representative payee, not Mr. J. • Ms. A was a 98 year old living in a care facility. Although cognitively sharp, she had turned over the responsibility for paying her bills to her grandson. She enjoyed visits from her grandson, but over the years had been bothered by his requests for funds. After he assumed responsibility for her funds, it was discovered that her account was overdrawn and had accrued over $400 in fees. Her grandson had borrowed $4600 to support his self-confessed gambling addiction and Ms. A could no longer receive her critical medications because the pharmacy was owed over $1100. Mr. G was an 88 year old enjoying his retirement in Central Oregon when he received a phone call alerting him to a prize he had won. There were some requirements for collecting the prize, such as sending money for taxes and delivery fees via money order. In a five day period in mid-June, Mr. G sent 10 money orders totaling over $16,000. Although the prize money never arrived, Mr. G received constant communications from the prize company and continued to believe that the funds were forthcoming. By the third week in July, he had sent over $100,000 via money order and the majority of his nest egg was depleted.
Who Are the Victims?
• In Oregon, individuals over the age of 65, and those with a physical disability over the age of 18, are eligible for adult protective services. A physical disability is defined, for the purposes of APS eligibility, as a physical or cognitive condition such as brain injury and dementia that significantly interferes with an adult’s ability to protect his or her self from harm or neglect. • The sample for this study consisted of 78% individuals over the age of 65, and 22% individuals between the ages of 18 – 64 with a physical disability. • The oldest victim in the study was 102, with the youngest being 24. • In a disturbing trend, it was noted that 17.7% of the victims had previous investigations involving FE or had an investigation subsequent to the one pulled for the 2011 study. Oregon tracks community re-abuse rates on a quarterly basis and consistently has rates less than 5%. Further analysis will be needed to determine why the cases in this study had such a significantly higher rate of reabuse.
65+ Disabled 22%
In 2010, Ms. L found herself recovering from a series of medical events in a nursing home in Douglas County. She very much wished to return to her home and when a past acquaintance, Tom, who she knew from her earlier employment, offered to provide her with care so that this could occur, she jumped at the opportunity. Ms. L returned home in the summer of 2010 and provided Tom with the keys to her car and information he would need to pick up her medications, medical supplies and groceries. Ms. L began receiving calls from the bank regarding overdrafts on her accounts in January, 2011. She was perplexed. True, she had loaned some money to Tom so he could pay his mortgage and he hadn’t paid her back just yet, but that certainly would not have overdrawn her account. The calls, however, were persistent and distressing enough that she reached out to the local Adults and People with Disabilities office. Working in conjunction with the APS investigator, and providing consent for the access to her bank records, it was discovered that Tom had been misusing the debit card Ms. L had provided to him for the purchase of medical and food necessities. In fact, he had begun doing so in July, 2010, almost immediately upon assuming his duties as Ms. L’s care giver. Over $8426 in unauthorized transactions had been made with her debit card. But it didn’t end there. Tom had also obtained credit in Ms. L’s name, resulting in a net loss of $2418 and had obtained a cell phone in her name. When confronted with these facts, Ms. L realized that there had been other red flags and quickly discovered that over $50,000 in antique jewelry as well as a gun had been removed from her possession. It was at this point that Ms. L fired Tom as her care giver, obtained a restraining order, and filed a police report which was ultimately referred to the DA for prosecution.
What is Taken From the Victims?
Although most often thought of as the theft of actual money, financial exploitation can take many forms. These include, but are not limited to, the theft of medications, jewelry, vehicles, real estate, food stamp benefits, ATM cards and personal property. Also included in this study are cases in which undue influence was exerted on a victim to alter their estate plan, cases in which their identity was stolen for the purposes of obtaining credit, and cases involving high level, professional, international scams.
2% 4% 5% Hours .2% 8% 11% Scam Credit Card ATM Card Car Food Stamps Medication Money Personal Property Free Rent Real Estate Jewelry .5% 60% Estate Plan .7% 3%
What is Reported to be Taken?
While money is far and away the most commonly investigated form of financial exploitation, there is some variation throughout the state as to the second most commonly investigated type of FE case.
District 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16W 16CC
County Tillamook, Clatsop Multnomah Marion, Polk Yamhill Linn, Benton, Lincoln Lane Douglas Coos, Curry Jackson, Josephine Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook Klamath, Lake Morrow, Umatilla Wallowa, Union, Baker Grant, Harney, Malheur Clackamas Washington Columbia
Most Common Theft Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Personal Property Money Money Money Money Money Money
Second Medication Medication Personal Property Medication Medication Personal Property Medication Medication NA Medication Estate Plan NA Credit Card Free Rent Free Rent Professional Scam Personal Property
Even with sample size factored in, some types of theft appear to be more consistently substantiated than others. There may be other factors at play in these rates, such as access to documentary evidence, who the perpetrator is and whether or not law enforcement is involved. These will be discussed in more detail in later sections of this report.
Statewide Substantiation Rates by Item Taken
Hours Scam Credit Card ATM Card Car Food Stamps Medication Money Personal Property Free Rent Real Estate Jewelry Estate Plan Total Cases Substantiated 100.0% 71.4% 60.0% 42.9% 37.5% 28.6% 28.3% 26.0% 25.0% 25.0% 11.8% 0.0% 0.0% 27.9% Unsubstantiated 0.0% 28.6% 26.7% 28.6% 62.5% 57.1% 47.8% 58.4% 66.7% 65.0% 76.5% 50.0% 66.7% 56.8% Inconclusive 0.0% 0.0% 13.3% 28.6% 0.0% 14.3% 23.9% 15.6% 8.3% 10.0% 11.8% 50.0% 33.3% 15.3%
• The theft of money, whether in the form of cash, bank or investment account contents, represented 59.7% of all financial exploitation cases in Oregon in 2011. • These cases were substantiated at a statewide average of 26%
District Substantiation Rates of Monetary Theft
50.0% 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% Series1 1 0.0% 2 45.0% 3 18.5% 4 23.1% 5 17.6% 6 23.1% 7 23.3% 8 25.6% 10 15.4% 12 14.3% 13 0.0% 14 20.0% 15 34.8% 16W 20.0% 16CC 14.3%
• Of the substantiated cases, it was not always possible to determine how much was taken from the victim. However, in the cases where this information was available, the dollar amount lost ranged from $20 to $676,753. It is believed that this number is extremely conservative since many cases were substantiated based on limited or incomplete documentary information available to the investigator. • Substantiated monetary theft was most commonly perpetrated by the daughters of the victim, although sons were represented at a very similar rate. • In 23% of the substantiated monetary theft cases, the perpetrator was acting as the Power of Attorney for the victim. In an additional 14% of the cases, the perpetrator held some other sort of fiduciary role such as Trustee or Representative Payee. • Law enforcement had some level of involvement in monetary theft cases 22% of the time. • Some type of documentary evidence, most commonly bank records, was available to investigators in 34.4% of the monetary theft cases.
• Medication theft represented 11% of all community based financial exploitation cases in Oregon in 2011, making it a distant second to monetary theft. However, should facility based investigations be taken into consideration, this form of financial exploitation would surely significantly increase. • Medication theft cases were substantiated at a statewide average of 28.3%.
District Substantiation Rates of Medication Theft
120.0% 100.0% 80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0%
Substantiation Rate 100.0%
• Although higher than the overall average substantiation rate of 27.9%, this type of theft also had one of the highest inconclusive rates of any type of financial exploitation case. There are a number of possible reasons for this. These thefts are generally taking place in the victim’s home where the type of documentation associated with medication in a facility setting is not present. Similarly, security measures surrounding medication in a private home differ significantly from those in a facility, and a large number of people may have access to the medication throughout the course of a day. • Substantiated medication theft was most commonly perpetrated by non-relative care givers of the victim. • Law enforcement had some level of involvement in medication theft cases 30.4% of the time. • Some type of documentary evidence was available to investigators in 15.2% of the medication theft cases. Since the average access to records rate for all types of financial exploitation is 30%, this is clearly a type of exploitation that faces challenges where records are concerned. Records that one might assume would be helpful in such cases, such as those from a pharmacy, were only available in one case.
In the summer of 2010, Ms. M was living in her own home in Eastern Oregon. Also living with her was her son, Randy, who was the trustee of her living trust. Ms. M had amassed substantial assets including several homes, investment accounts, and monthly income. APS was contacted by someone concerned that Ms. M’s bills didn’t appear to be getting paid, while at the same time Randy seemed to be spending a lot of money on himself and his girlfriend. Since Randy was not employed, it was thought that Randy might be misusing Ms. M’s assets for his own benefit while neglecting her needs. The investigation showed that the concerns of the caller were valid and Ms. M’s cognitive status had declined to the point where she was unable to address the matter on her own. The issue appeared to have been resolved when Ms. M moved to an Assisted Living Facility and Randy left town, leaving another individual in charge of Ms. M’s finances. However, in March of 2011, APS was again contacted when Randy returned to town, reassumed management of Ms. M’s finances, declined to pay the Assisted Living Facility, and then removed Ms. M from the facility. Randy and Ms. M next appeared in Southern Oregon where she came to the attention of authorities via a hospital admission. Before an investigation into the concerns noted at the time of admission could be fully completed, Randy removed her from the hospital and relocated her to a home of his in Clackamas County. APS staff in all three counties shared information regarding their investigations as did multiple law enforcement agencies. Randy was arrested on multiple charges, some unrelated to the APS investigation, and Ms. M moved into another Assisted Living Facility.
Where Where Are The Victims?
All of the regions in Oregon were represented in the 2011 study, but some areas were represented at a rate disproportionately higher than (green) or lower than (red) their age 65+ populations. This is based on 2010 census data and is demonstrated below.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16W
Tillamook, Clatsop Multnomah Marion, Polk Yamhill Linn, Benton, Lincoln Lane Douglas Coos, Curry Jackson, Josephine Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook Klamath, Lake Morrow, Umatilla Wallowa, Union, Baker Grant, Harney, Malheur Clackamas Washington
Population over the age of 65
11434 77423 64967 38243 52781 22570 19747 54272 8476 31025 12963 11078 9476 7856 51231 53109 6883
62289 735334 489931 248285 351715 107667 85407 285919 49106 200431 74275 87062 48890 46180 375992 529710 49351
% of District population over the age of 65%
18.4% 10.5% 13.3% 15.4% 15.0% 21.0% 23.1% 19.0% 17.3% 15.5% 17.5% 12.7% 19.4% 17.0% 13.6% 10.0% 13.9%
% of Oregon population over the age of 65
2.1% 14.5% 12.2% 7.2% 9.9% 4.2% 3.7% 10.2% 1.6% 5.8% 2.4% 2.1% 1.8% 1.5% 9.6% 10.0% 1.3%
% of statewide FE cases
2.3% 18.6% 9.8% 6.0% 7.0% 5.0% 10.7% 14.5% 0.3% 5.0% 0.5% 1.7% 1.0% 1.7% 9.8% 2.6% 2.3%
16CC Columbia Total Population in Oregon over the age of 65 = 533,533
As an alternate means of illustrating the frequency of alleged financial exploitation relative to the population pool, the number of cases that were substantiated in each district were divided by the population of seniors within that district. This then shows the incidence of financial exploitation relative to the population of seniors within the district. 2010 US Census Data was used to determine the population of seniors in each district.
Mr. and Mrs. J live in a quiet NE Portland neighborhood. Their two grown children, a son (Michael) and a daughter (Catherine), are both living at home with them and are both currently unemployed. Despite being well into their 80’s, they remain independent. Mr. and Mrs. J became part of this study when it was alleged that Catherine fraudulently tried to cash a check from their account. Although this case was investigated in March of 2011, it was not the first time APS had been in touch with this family. In 2009, it was alleged that Mr. and Mrs. J were being financially exploited by Michael and Catherine in the form of free rent. This case was not substantiated by APS as Mr. and Mrs. J expressed clearly that it was their choice to support their children and one that they made free of duress. In 2010, APS is again contacted by an individual concerned that Michael and Catherine were draining Mr. and Mrs. J of all their liquid assets. When APS visits Mr. and Mrs. J on this occasion, it is noted by the investigator that their cognitive and physical status has declined slightly and they have turned bill paying responsibility over to Michael. Although Mr. and Mrs. J don’t believe that Michael and Catherine would take any money without permission, they are willing to consent to the investigator accessing bank records. A review of these records quickly reveals that over $92,000 has been removed from their accounts in the past nine months. There is sufficient evidence to support that Michael has been responsible for these withdrawals. The police are contacted but Mr. and Mrs. J decline to press charges. They are willing, however, to appoint another individual as their financial Power of Attorney, and are competent to do so. When Catherine is contacted in 2011 about the fraudulent check, she readily admits to having forged the check and attempting to cash it. However, when police are consulted, they are unwilling to make an arrest based on the long standing pattern Mr. and Mrs. J have of financially supporting Michael and Catherine and their unwillingness to press charges. In August, 2011 Catherine takes Mr. and Mrs. J’s car for two weeks without permission, but returns it when APS becomes involved.
When Did This Happen?
Financial Exploitation has been an area of concern for as long as abuse investigations have been taking place. However, there is no doubt that the numbers of cases being investigated appears to be rising and, anecdotally, their complexity increasing. This may be due to better education and outreach efforts that drive increased reporting or it may reflect an actual increase in incidence. The following chart shows this trend. Although this study focuses on 2011 investigations, 2012 data is available at this time and is included here for the purposes of trend demonstration.
3500 3000 2469 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 2009 2010 Allegations Substantiations 2011 2012 612 685 757 828 2153 2782 2871
Ms. E was a 75 year old woman who began to experience the effects of dementia on her cognitive capacity. However, many years prior when still of sound mind, she appointed her son Ken as her Power of Attorney. As her memory and thought process failed, he began to exercise his authority to manage Ms. E’s affairs. It was decided that she could no longer live on her own, so he sold her home and, with the proceeds, purchased a new home that he, his wife, and Ms. E could all live in together. Ms. E worked hard during her earlier years and received Social Security and two pensions. Ken became the representative payee for these benefits and had them deposited into bank accounts with himself listed as the signer. These accounts were used to pay all of the household expenses. Surprisingly, since Ms. E could no longer drive, these accounts were also used to pay an auto loan. And, despite the fact that Ms. E did not have any credit cards in her name, there were also significant payments to a number of credit card companies. And, although Ms. E’s memory was hazy, she was particularly concerned about a loan that she made to a family member. She distinctly remembered that the family member paid the money back but could not figure out where that money went. She asked Ken, but he seemed unwilling to show her her account statements. Ken explained to the investigator that it was necessary for Ms. E to pay for a vehicle as Ken and his wife had to transport Ms. E to various appointments. He further explained that, while he deposited the funds from the repaid loan in Ms. E’s account, much of the money had to be spent on landscaping and other items for the house. In fact, a review of financial records showed that over $100,000 of the repaid loan had been used in a six month period. Ken further explained that, since he and his wife had to care for Ms. E., they were unable to work full time and thus needed to use some Ms. E’s money to pay off their credit card debt. The APS investigator, local police, and the probate court disagreed that Ken had appropriately upheld his fiduciary duty to Ms. E. Financial exploitation was substantiated, Ken was removed as Power of Attorney, and a Conservator was appointed to manage Ms. E’s affairs.
How Does Financial Exploitation Occur?
• In order for Financial Exploitation to occur, there must be both a victim and a perpetrator of the abuse. We have discussed who the victims are earlier in this report. In this section, we will focus on alleged and substantiated perpetrators and some of the tools that these individuals use to gain access to victims assets. • There were 17 different categories of alleged perpetrators tracked in this study. • Of those, 9 of the categories involved various familial relationships, including spouses. When combined, these 9 categories accounted for 55% of all alleged perpetrators.
2% 2% 1% 6%
Niece Grand daughter Other Family
Alleged Perpetrators with Family Relationships
Daughter Grand son
5% 7% 3%
Beyond family members, the second most common type of alleged perpetrator was acquaintances, followed closely by non-relative care givers (NRCG).
1% 1% 1% 5% 4%
Bank employee Professional Con Unknown Non Relative Care Giver
Alleged Perpetrators Without Family Relationships
Acquaintance Representative Payee
• Substantiation rates varied by perpetrator type and amongst regions of Oregon but generally mirrored the prevalence rates. Substantiated Unsubstantiated 100.0% 0.0% 75.0% 25.0% 60.0% 40.0% 37.5% 50.0% 35.7% 57.1% 33.3% 33.3% 31.9% 57.1% 29.3% 49.3% 27.6% 58.6% 25.0% 25.0% 23.5% 64.7% 19.0% 60.8% 16.7% 50.0% 8.3% 83.3% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 27.9% 57% Inconclusive 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 12.5% 7.1% 33.3% 11.0% 21.3% 13.8% 50.0% 11.8% 20.3% 33.3% 8.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 15.3%
Bank employee Professional Con Niece Unknown Grand daughter Other Family Daughter Non Relative Care Giver Son Roommate Grand son Acquaintance Parent Spouse Representative Payee Sibling Other
• Proportionately, law enforcement was more likely to become involved in cases involving acquaintances or NRCG as alleged perpetrators than those involving sons or daughters.
Power of Attorney
• Anecdotally, the Adult Protective Services System hears a great deal about Power of Attorney (PoA) abuse. In other words, individuals who use their position as a PoA to financially exploit the individual on whose behalf they are supposed to be acting. • In this study, 13% of the cases involved alleged perpetrators who were acting as PoA for the alleged victim. • Of those cases, 34% were substantiated. This exceeds the overall financial exploitation substantiation rate of 27.9%. • Substantiated PoA cases account for 16% of all substantiated cases.
What Do PoA's Take?
$$ 5% 4% 81% Meds Credit PP FS 5% 5%
• When substantiated as perpetrators, PoA’s stole money 81% of the time. This compares with money being taken 54% of the time by all other perpetrators.
• Law enforcement became involved in 25% of cases involving PoA abuse.
Individuals acting in the role of Power of Attorney have other relationships with the reported victims as well. Those relationships break down as follows: Total Allegations Involving PoA
Daughter Sons Acquaintance Granddtr NRCG Niece Grandson Parent Spouse 0.0% 5.4% 3.6% 1.8% 1.8% 1.8% 1.8% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 14.3% 32.1% 37.5%
Total Substantiations Involving PoA
Daughter Sons Acquaintance Granddtr NRCG Niece Grandson Parent Spouse 0.0% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 0.0% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 31.6% 47.4%
How Other Fiduciary Duties
• In addition to reported perpetrators acting as Power of Attorney for the reported victim, there were other categories of individuals with a fiduciary duty to the victim. These included Trustees, Guardians and Conservators, Personal Representatives of estates and Representative Payees for federal benefits. • These other categories with fiduciary duties comprised 7% of the overall sample. When combined with POA cases, individuals alleged to have breached their fiduciary duty to their client comprised 20% of the overall sample of cases investigated. • These cases comprised 26% of substantiated allegations of abuse. Fiduciary Duty: Substantiated Cases
G/C Trustee 8% Rep Payee Pers. Rep. POA 0% Non-Fiduciary G/C
Fiduciary Duty: All Allegations
Trustee Rep Payee 2% Pers. Rep PoA
0% 3% 21% 6%
16% 66% 3% 75%
• As the above data indicates, PoA and other fiduciary abuse are substantiated at a rate higher than the average financial exploitation substantiation rate. Nonetheless, there are regional variations in this data as well. The graph below illustrates substantiation rates for all types of fiduciary duty by region.
Substantiated Fiduciary Financial Abuse by District
0% Series 1
= Statewide substantiation rate for all types of financial exploitation = Statewide substantiation rate for financial exploitation committed by a fiduciary
What Can Be Done?
The Adult Protective Services Program
• There are approximately 115 APS investigators throughout the state of Oregon. Recent workload studies have indicated that the APS program is staffed at approximately 55% of what would be considered desireable for optimum job performance. The average case load size is estimated to be 40 – 50 per investigator at any given time. • In addition to Financial Exploitation, APS investigators are involved in investigating over 10,000 cases of physical abuse, sexual exploitation and abuse, verbal/emotional abuse, neglect, wrongful restraint, involuntary seclusion, and abandonment, both in facility and community settings. In addition, APS staff assess over 2500 cases of self-neglect a year. • The Office of Adult Abuse and Investigations, which oversees the Adult Protective Services program, has recently hired a Financial Exploitation Specialist. This individual is available to: o Assist local offices with complex Financial Exploitation cases in both community and facility settings. o Provide education and outreach presentations regarding Financial Exploitation to a variety of audiences throughout the state.
What Can Be Done?
o Attend local MDT meetings. o Provide technical assistance to local offices regarding forensic accounting tools and systems, obtain and analyze documentation, and present cases to local law enforcement and prosecutors in a manner that may increase the likelihood of involvement and prosecution. • The Office of Adult Abuse and Investigations has recently worked with the Oregon Banker’s Association to update and re-release a toolkit for bank employees designed to assist them in identifying and reporting cases of financial exploitation. • The results of this study, and particularly the District specific data, will be used to identify targeted areas of need throughout the state and to provide training and technical assistance to those areas to address those needs.
What Can Be Done
Law Enforcement Involvement
• Efforts have been taken over the past several years to increase cross reporting and collaborative investigative efforts between APS and Law Enforcement.
• One of these efforts has been the passage of legislation to mandate the formation of Multi-Disciplinary Teams in each county. These teams are to be coordinated and led by the District Attorney. At the time of this writing, there are MDT’s operating in some capacity in 32 of 36 Oregon counties. However, in 2011 when these cases were being investigated, this number was lower.
• Statewide, Law Enforcement was involved with 24.1% of the financial exploitation cases in the study. For the purposes of this study, this could include law enforcement being the reporter of the allegation (approximately 18% of the time), APS referring to law enforcement at the conclusion of a case (approximately 55% of the time), or law enforcement and APS working together during the course of a case (approximately 17% of the time).
What Can Be Done
• As with other aspects of this study, there was variation in the levels of law enforcement involvement in FE cases amongst regions of the state. The correlation between law enforcement involvement and active MDT’s was low to moderate.
Cases in which LE was involved by District
50.0% 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% 1 2 30.8% 3 19.5% 4 32.0% 5 22.6% 6 13.0% 7 22.2% 8 23.0% 10 23.8% 12 0.0% 13 0.0% 14 42.9% 15 24.4% 16W 36.0% 16CC 10.0%
Series 1 30.0%
What Can Be Done
• On a percentage basis, law enforcement was most likely to become involved with cases involving the theft of jewelry, food stamps, and credit cards, in descending order. However, in terms of actual case numbers, law enforcement was most frequently involved in cases involving the theft of funds, medication and personal property. • Although the statewide average of substantiation for all types of financial exploitation was 27.9%, the substantiation rate for the cases in which law enforcement was involved was 67.3%.
What Kind of Cases Does Law Enforcement Get Involved With Outcome when LE is Involved
Jewelry Credit Card Food Stamps Scam Medication Personal Property ATM Card Money Car Free Rent Real Estate Will Hours Total Cases 2 15 7 7 46 36 7 250 8 20 17 3 1 419 LE Cases 2 7 4 3 14 10 2 55 2 2 0 0 0 101 Substantiated 100.0% 46.7% 57.1% 42.9% 30.4% 27.8% 28.6% 22.0% 25.0% 10.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 24.1% 85.7% 75.0% 66.7% 57.1% 50.0% 100.0% 70.9% 100.0% 50.0% Unsubstantiated 50.0% 14.3% 0.0% 33.3% 28.6% 30.0% 0.0% 14.5% 0.0% 0.0% Inconclusive 50.0% 0.0% 25.0% 0.0% 14.3% 20.0% 0.0% 14.5% 0.0% 50.0%
What Can Be Done
Access to Records
• APS investigators are currently asked to complete financial exploitation investigations, many of them quite complex, with limited authority to obtain the information necessary to develop conclusive and accurate findings. They are dependent on victims, perpetrators or willing witnesses to provide bank statement, receipts, credit card records, or other documents that would either prove or disprove an allegation. • Of the cases involved in this survey, APS investigators had access to some type of documentary evidence 30% of the time. • Having access to documentary evidence makes a statistically significant difference in the outcome of an investigation. When records were available, substantiation rates were 51.2% vs. 17.8% when they were not. Furthermore, inconclusive findings dropped from 17.8% when no records were available to 9.4% when they were available. • Careful attention was paid to this portion of the analysis and it is the opinion of the analyst that had records been available in the remaining 70% of cases, it would have changed the investigative findings in 14% of those cases.
What Can Be Done
• When documentary evidence was available to the investigator, it was most commonly provided to them by the reported victim themselves. This was followed by banks providing documents most commonly and then police.
2% 2% 3% 4% 28%
Who Provides Records
RV Bank Police RP Medicaid Wrk. Family Unknown Facility Attorney County Recorder 1% Credit Co. 1% Pharmacy 1% Title Co. 1% Utility Provider 1%
• As the chart reflects, in 12% of the cases involving documents, those documents were provided to the investigator by the reported perpetrator. It is important to note that in every one of those cases, the investigation resulted in an unsubstantiated conclusion. In other words, the reported perpetrator was able to supply evidence that they had not financially exploited the victim.
What Can Be Done
Although there was variation throughout the state regarding the availability of records, it was not as significant as other study measures.
Access to Documentary Evidence by District
80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0%
Series 1 30.0%
What Can Be Done Next Steps
Financial exploitation is a multifaceted issue and no one intervention or prevention effort will completely address all of the individual aspects. For example, steps taken to prevent the misuse of Power of Attorney privileges will probably do very little to address medication theft from an individual’s home. Furthermore, simply making efforts to increase the reporting of financial exploitation will be of little use if tools and resources are not provided to local APS investigators to effectively investigate those reports. With this in mind, OAAPI plans to focus on the following initiatives and efforts: • Reaching out to the Oregon Credit Union Association to increase awareness and education regarding financial exploitation. This would mirror the efforts already taken with the Oregon Bankers Association which culminated in a Tool Kit for their staff. For more information regarding this groundbreaking, often replicated, and recently updated product, please visit: http://www.oregonbankers.com/community/elder-exploitation-prevention • Increased collaboration with local law enforcement in an effort to determine what they need and want from APS in order to become involved in, charge and prosecute a financial exploitation case. OAAPI is prepared to utilize existing resources to conduct outreach to the Law Enforcement and District Attorney communities regarding breach of fiduciary duty, the scope of APS, the aspects of financial exploitation specific to the vulnerable individuals we serve, and the need to closely collaborate to obtain financial documentation on specific cases.
What Can Be Done
• The production and distribution of materials targeted to family members regarding their fiduciary duty should they be appointed as the Power of Attorney, Representative Payee, Trustee or other decision maker of their family member’s estate. Outreach to the financial, legal, and other communities who can be the first line of distribution of such a product would be vital. • Increased training of state funded non-relative care givers regarding what constitutes financial exploitation and the consequences of such activities. • Ongoing efforts to provide APS workers with legal access to financial records when such records are necessary to either prove or disprove the occurrence of financial exploitation. APS workers are currently dependent on the willingness of local law enforcement to subpoena those records for them when the victim is unable to provide consent. Workforce constraints and other demands placed on the law enforcement system often provide a barrier to obtaining critical investigative information. Legislative change will be necessary to fully realize this goal. • Conversations with the Oregon Health Authority’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Addictions and Mental Health about areas of collaboration designed to address the issue of medication theft.
An updated retrospective study of 2013 financial exploitation will occur in 2014 to see if trends identified in this report remain consistent. Although the results of the above initiatives will not yet be reflected in that data, the results of the 2013 study will continue to shape and drive those efforts.
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