A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE:† A BRIEF LOOK AT THE PROGRESSION OF CASES OF ELDER FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION PROSECUTIONS

ABOUT THE ARTICLE

Elder financial exploitation is a continuing problem in the United States, and the prosecution of elder financial exploitation has failed to keep up with modern problems and laws. In this Article, the Authors explore nearly three decades of appellate decisions from across the United States. In these examples, the Authors show how different courts have treated both victims and defendants through their appellate decisions. The Authors examine the basic elements that make up financial exploitation throughout the country. Cases from many courts, and of differing notoriety are explored, noting the difference in law and discretion across the United States. Finally, the Authors suggest resources for prosecutors and discuss how the United States can catch up with those who are taking advantage of an elderly population.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

† By this, we mean we are taking an expansive view of the topic. The Authors would like to thank Paul Greenwood and Candace Heisler for their insights; Professors Bowman and Flowers for their feedback; and students Alyssa Aquaviva, Chelsea Ejankowski, Roger Klafka, Robert McLaren, and Arienne Valencia for compiling the cases for the spread sheet.

Professor Rebecca C. Morgan, J.D., is the Boston Asset Management Chair in Elder Law, Stetson University College of Law.

Pamela B. Teaster, Ph.D., is the Professor and Director, Center for Gerontology, Virginia Tech. Previously she worked as the Director of Doctoral Studies and the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Teaster focuses her research on elder and vulnerable adult mistreatment, guardianship, end-of-life decisions, and the ethical, policy, and public affairs issues that go along with these subjects. Dr. Teaster received her Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs from the Virginia Tech Institute and State University.

Randolph W. Thomas is a retired police officer having served for over 25 years in the law enforcement profession. Mr. Thomas is a past-President of National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and currently serves in an advisory capacity to several elder abuse prevention organizations. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina and served as a consultant to Stetson University College of Law. He is the co-author of Elder Abuse Detection and Intervention: A Collaborative Approach. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Chaminade University (Honolulu,) and his Master’s degree in Political Science (Public Administration) from the University of South Florida (Tampa).