Two Rochester residents charged with financial exploitation
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - In separate cases, Olmsted County prosecutors have charged two individuals in as many weeks with financially exploiting a vulnerable adult.
Lisa Lynn Kaiser, 50, was charged Monday with six counts of felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The Post-Bulletin reports Kaiser is accused of stealing $138,000 from a woman she was in charge of making financial decisions for.
Jeffrey Alan Amundson, 44, was charged Jan. 25 with four counts of the same crime. He is accused of taking more than $15,000 from a man who granted him power of attorney in 2004, according to a criminal complaint.
Alumndon, who is the CEO of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale , has been put on paid leave.
About financial abuse:
Seniors are often targets of fraudulent investments, charitable contributions and sweepstakes. But what separates those scams from financial abuse is the suspect's relationship to the victim.
According to a report by the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, financial exploitation occurs when a family member or caregiver, not a stranger, steals or misuses their elderly victims' money, property or valuables.
The tactics offenders use include deceit, intimidation and emotional abuse, the report says. They often try to isolate the victims from friends and family to prevent others from questioning the arrangement.
Seniors who are lonely, disabled or unfamiliar with financial matters are at the greatest risk of being exploited, according to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
What to look for:
The National Council on Aging says to watch for these signs of financial abuse:
- The elderly person's living conditions are well below his or her financial resources
- Frequent checks for cash are written to a caregiver or financial professional
- Bills go unpaid or are overdue when someone is supposed to be paying them
- The person is reluctant to talk about once-routine topics
- Changes are made in a will when the person appears to be incapacitated
Click here to learn more about the warning signs and what to do to limit the likelihood of financial abuse happening in the first place.