Ohio Lawmakers Targeting Elder Fraud - Nelson Elder Care Law & Estate Planning in Georgia
Required

Ohio Lawmakers Targeting Elder Fraud

It is really an epidemic of people going after our most frail and fragile citizens. They can convince them they won the lottery and they haven’t bought a ticket.

Ohio’s just passed a new state law targeting those who defraud and exploit the elderly. The bill increases financial penalties for theft from an older person, defined by state law as anyone over 65 years old. This new law has teeth. It mandates anyone convicted of defrauding an elderly person to pay them back every penny they stole. That’s in addition to a fine that can be as high as $50,000, reports the Dayton Daily News in the article “New Ohio law targets elder fraud as cases on the rise: Here’s how it works.”

The new law was recently signed into law by Governor John Kasich. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Steve Wilson, who commented that during his years at a local bank, he saw seniors being ripped off every day.

The new law adds certain financial professionals to the list of people who are now obligated to tell authorities, if they have a reasonable cause to suspect that a senior is being either abused, neglected or exploited.

There’s also an educational component to the new law. The Ohio Attorney General is now required, by law, to distribute at least six public awareness publications every year to educate the public on warning signs that elder abuse is taking place, how to report it if they suspect it and what resources are available to either prevent or remedy elder fraud or elder financial abuse.

It is often bank employees who are the first to notice when a regular customer’s patterns have changed. Someone who comes into the bank every week to withdraw a small amount of cash, suddenly makes a big withdrawal. The bank employee is now required to notify the authorities, if they suspect that something is not right.

One smart feature of the new law: the fines will go to county agencies tasked with investigating elder abuse, so the bill is self-funding and will pay for its implementation.

Common schemes now targeting seniors include scammers calling and pretending to be family members needing immediate financial help. Home repair scams often target the elderly. Earlier this year, a man in Ohio targeted seniors, claiming that he owned their homes using fake property deeds, then tried to sell the properties to buyers.

The Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association did a survey in 2017 and found that elder abuse, neglect and exploitation is on the rise in the Buckeye State. Unfortunately, Ohio is far from the only state seeing an increase in elder abuse.

Reference: Dayton Daily News (Dec. 26, 2018) “New Ohio law targets elder fraud as cases on the rise: Here’s how it works”

Hear From Our Clients
tes-prev
tes-next

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce

Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!

- Marcia

I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!

- Ben