White House Initiative on Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Panel 2


Uploaded by whitehouse on 14.06.2012

Transcript:
Kathy Greenlee: Welcome back.
For those of you who are at home, we're in comfy chairs now.
We've moved to southport, south auditorium,
and so you're welcome, those of you out there.
Here's the agreement: You have to stay awake even though you're
in comfy chairs.
But we're glad to have this venue where we have a little
bit more room.
I had mentioned this morning that I have had the opportunity
to do several events with the White House.
I did one this week on Seniors and Health Reform.
I have not been at one where people took so many pictures
of each other.
(laughter)
So this must really be the cool place to be.
So congratulations to you all.
Yeah, you all like each other a lot.
I think this is a good sign given how many pictures that
you're taking.
So that's a good thing.
(laughter)
I wanted to recognize a couple of people before we get started.
And Don Blandin and I had a chance to talk over lunch when
we were upstairs.
Don is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Investor
Protection Trust.
You know, this work kind of up to this point and moving forward
will take all of us.
And Don and his staff and his association have been focusing
on education and will continue to work with us.
And it sounded like from our conversation at lunch, you,
like everybody else, has a whole long list of ideas on ways that
we can work together and use, kind of the things we've
announced this morning, all of the ideas that
have been presented.
So, thank you for your work with us so far.
And I think the coordinating council that we announced
this morning, the Secretary announced,
gives us some structure so that we can talk specifically about
what do we do with education, what do we do with prosecution,
which is the focus this afternoon.
So I just wanted to give a shout out to Don.
And also thank you for feeding us,
because this makes this day much, much easier to do,
as well.
(applause)
So he was able to help us keep you here,
because when you leave, getting back through security
doesn't work.
So, I'm very glad to have you.
The Secretary made the announcement this morning
about funding announcements available through HHS.
The HHS News Release has now been published.
We have, I think, copies of it out front.
The funding announcement is now live.
So we made this announcement and it's now on the streets.
I'm looking for things for you all to tweet,
because I don't know how many -- 140 characters -- you can get
that in that many characters and just let people know that the
funding announcement is out and certainly pick this up.
We're very excited about being able to make financial
investments and developing best practices in elder abuse.
So this afternoon we will turn our attention to what we can do
to respond to elder abuse and have a wonderful panel.
I want to continue to have questions come in,
because we will take questions, much we did this morning,
for those of you here, and live the Twitter hash tag that we're
using all day is ProtectSeniors.
So I would encourage you to go ahead and use it.
And if you have a question already that you know about kind
of on the law enforcement vein, you can go ahead and send that
to us now, and we'll keep them in the queue.
So we'll start this afternoon with a video.
I'd like to introduce that to you.
This is courtesy of the Office of Victims of Crime in the
Department of Justice.
It's a video clip called Responding to Elder Abuse:
What Community Corrections Should Know.
And I'm going to move down so I can see it as well.
Speaker: We have five new patients today.
Dr. Laura Mosqueda: Multidisciplinary teams, I think, become particularly
important in cases of elder abuse,
because these cases are often multidimensional,
very complex.
Speaker: And it is very apparent that this is criminal negligence.
Lucia Caballero: We have Adult Protective Services.
We have Community Services through Victim Witness.
We have a forensic team at UCI, which is our county hospital.
We have a forensic specialist in bruising.
We have the Financial Abuse Team.
We have judges on board who assign protective orders who
know about conservatorship.
Dr. Laura Mosqueda: We all educate each other so that we know
enough about each other's disciplines to be helpful
to each other.
We all feel like we're doing a better job,
and we're able to do our jobs more quickly.
Lucia Caballero: I realize that I don't have to reinvent the wheel.
That I take care of the criminal justice part with the offender
accountability and that I can count on a trustworthy
collaborative to take care of the other needs of the victim.
Sandra Swallow: Having the collaborative opens the door to resources
that we in Probation may not even be aware of.
So the collaborative is so important because at that point
it's like you're almost a resource broker.
You can ensure the victim's needs are being taken care
of by the experts at any community resource.
They can assess the victim.
Their expertise is really needed in that arena.
That frees us up to focus on the probationer.
That way we can do our job.
Speaker: Sometimes it may be overwhelming.
Sometimes it may be maddening.
But if you begin to screen and assess for elder abuse,
you will save someone's life.
I guarantee you'll save someone's life.
Speaker: Thank you, Department of Justice.
(applause)
Kathy Greenlee: Okay. Our first speaker this afternoon is Tony West.
And we're so pleased he's here.
He's the Acting Attorney Associate General,
and he was appointed to that position earlier this year.
He was nominated by President Obama to be the Assistant
Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Division back
in January of 2009.
As the person leading the Civil Division, quite naturally,
you can kind of assume correctly what he's been focusing his time
on: Civil enforcement efforts on healthcare fraud,
mortgage fraud, procurement fraud,
other civil actions with regard to taxpayer money lost to fraud,
and really been working to emphasize the role of the
Department of Justice in protecting us and supporting
consumers through the enforcement of consumer
protection laws.
We were pleased to have the Justice with us here all morning
and are glad to see Tony West.
I think you're like the third highest person at Justice.
So we're getting everybody.
And we'll meet the Attorney General, too.
We know he's in Canada.
So, Mr. West, thank you for coming was today.
(applause)
Tony West: Thank you very much.
Good afternoon.
Audience Members: Good afternoon.
Tony West: Kathy, thank you for that introduction,
and not only for that, but for your leadership and the
leadership of the Department of Health and Human Services,
all that you all are doing to provide,
on all the help that you're providing to meet the needs of
our nation's aging populations.
I also want to say thank you very much for having me here.
This is -- I've heard what a great morning you've had.
This commemoration gets better and better every year.
I had the good fortune of being able to participate in the first
one a couple of years ago over at HHS.
And I'm just so pleased to be able to be back again
for this one.
I also want to thank our moderator for this afternoon's
panel and also a colleague of mine at the Department
of Justice, Andy Mao.
Andy has not only been of course a force in helping to organize
today's event, but he has an unwavering commitment to
combating elder abuse and financial exploitation.
I had the very good fortune of working with him closely when I
was in the Civil Division, and he focused like a laser beam on
these issues.
And so, Andy, thank you so much for all that you've done.
(applause)
You know, it's been about 35 years since Hubert Humphrey
reminded us that the measure of a society is taken by the way we
treat those who are in the dawn of life,
those who age in the twilight of life,
and those who persevere in the shadows of life.
And often, all too often, those in life's twilight are also
suffering in life's shadows.
Ours is a society that is rapidly aging.
Within roughly the next decade and a half,
more than 72 million Americans will be over the age of 65.
That's nearly 20% of the entire population,
according to the Administration on Aging.
And for a culture that celebrates youth,
I think this fact presents us with particular challenges and
important questions, not the least of which is,
how will we ensure that those in life's twilight will receive the
dignity, the respect, the quality care that they deserve?
I think that part of the answer lies in our recognizing in an
honest and open way and discussing in an honest and open
way the real but underreported problem of elder abuse.
As Acting Associate Attorney General,
I oversee much of the Justice Department's efforts to protect
seniors from financial exploitation,
from age discrimination, and from health care fraud.
And while I believe we've made some very significant
improvements over the years when it comes to our ability
to recognize and respond to elder abuse, unfortunately,
I fear that the tragedy is still far too prevalent.
Victims are often too ashamed to come forward,
particularly when the perpetrator is a family member,
someone who is close to them.
Even today, nearly 30 years after the United Nations World
Assembly recognized elder abuse as a human rights issue,
we still find that there persists deeply disturbing
cases of neglect.
Like the case that we at the department pursued in Rome,
Georgia against a man named George Houser.
The owner of three nursing homes,
Houser billed Medicare and Medicaid for about $32 million
in services that completely failed to meet basic standards
of care.
Houser spent that money on furniture, vacations,
fancy cars, real estate investments.
But even more significant than his financial fraud against the
American taxpayers was his deplorable neglect of the
residents in his nursing home.
Houser's failure to maintain adequate staffing levels meant
that those nursing home residents were unable to receive
the assistance that they needed to dress themselves,
to feed themselves, even to clean themselves.
Patients went hungry.
Bed-ridden residents went unmoved.
Bed linens soiled with human waste went unchanged.
One family member that we spoke to,
she found her aunt suffering in one of Houser's homes from
dehydration and malnutrition.
A treating physician who later treated her discovered and
removed a cockroach that had burrowed deep in the elderly
woman's ear.
A nurse from another nursing home who had been called in
to assist when Houser's employees, most of them,
had left described her shock when she found another resident
who was bed-ridden covered from her neck to her feet
in little black bugs.
The woman's eyes were matted shut because
they had not been cleaned.
Now, traditionally, those of us in law enforcement,
we look at a case like this, and we would treat it as a typical
law enforcement problem.
We would see it as a health care fraud that requires a recovery
for the taxpayer or a criminal neglect that
demands individual accountability.
And that is, I think, an appropriate response.
Indeed, last February, Houser was convicted on 11 counts of
health care and tax fraud, or conspiring to commit health care
and tax fraud.
And he now faces a maximum sentence of over 50 years
in prison.
So I think the traditional law enforcement approach is
definitely appropriate.
But what we at the Justice Department recognize,
and I think what all of us here appreciate,
is that while that traditional law enforcement response is
appropriate and necessary, it is not alone sufficient.
We must do more.
We must engage in a multidisciplinary approach like
the one we saw in the film we just watched that helps us to
identify elder abuse earlier.
Helps us to stop it more quickly.
Helps us to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
And in this regard, I think we are making
some important strides.
First, we're collecting data to raise awareness and bolster
prevention efforts.
Through our Office of Justice Programs,
the Justice Department has funded a wide range of
cutting-edge research on the signs and characteristics of
elder abuse, on bruising, on neglect,
and financial exploitation, and the characteristics of
individuals who fall victim to that.
In fact, earlier this week, the Department released a report on
the violent physical and sexual abuse of the elderly.
It's a hidden epidemic.
The majority of it takes place during the isolated hours,
the nighttime and evening nursing home hours,
and is often undetected, occurs often at the hands of someone
the victim actually knows.
Second, we are supporting the training of hundreds of police
officers and judges around the nation on elder mistreatment,
as well as hundreds of local prosecutors,
on how to develop effectively and prosecute successfully
elder abuse cases.
Because timely, certain, and consistent enforcement action
against elder abuse, that is an essential ingredient, as well,
to our overall success.
But third, and equally important, I think,
through the Department's Elder Justice Initiative,
through our Office for Victims of Crime and our Access to
Justice Initiative, we are funding and facilitating the
training of a wide range of professionals to work with law
enforcement in connection with identifying and responding to
victims of elder abuse.
Professionals like the ones we saw, victim service providers,
health care practitioners, adult protective service workers,
and with the Missing Link Project that the Deputy Attorney
General announced this morning, civil legal aid providers.
It's an important step toward helping to ensure that when
victims seek help, they will be met with dignity,
they will be met with assistance,
they will be met with respect.
So, as we continue to bring our law enforcement tools to bear,
to investigate, to prosecute, and to punish elder abuse,
we at the Department also know that the most effective elder
abuse case is the one we prevent from occurring in
the first instance.
And to do that, we must continue to work together.
We must continue to build networks together.
We must continue to collaborate and combine resources and
information in areas of expertise.
We all know this work is not easy,
but we also know that there are so many people depending on us.
Especially those who suffer in silence,
those who are unable to speak for themselves,
they are depending on us to do this work,
and to do this work well, and I know that we will
not let them down.
So thank you very much for having me.
It's a real privilege.
(applause)
Kathy Greenlee: Thank you very much, Acting Associate Attorney
General West.
Let's have the next panel come up.
You can either jump or here's a ramp.
So, I'll have you come up.
This afternoon's panel will operate much like this
morning's, where we'll have presentations and then take
questions from the audience, as well as people who are sending
in questions through Twitter.
Our moderator this afternoon Mr. West already referred to.
Andy Mao is Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud and Elder
Justice in the Civil Fraud Division, Department of Justice.
Those of us who have been working on planning the day have
gotten to know each other well.
Andy has been quite active in the planning from the DOJ
perspective as we've put together the day.
He also, in his capacity at Department of Justice,
advises the Civil Division on policy matters relating
to health care fraud and coordinates activities on elder
financial exploitation through the Department's Elder Justice
and Nursing Home Initiative.
So, Andy, this is your panel.
So come on up.
(applause)
Andy Mao: Thank you very much.
Good afternoon.
Audience Members: Good afternoon.
Andy Mao: When my father and I used to play tennis long ago,
we would have a little tradition of basically preemptively
throwing out all of our excuses.
My back hurts.
My elbow hurts.
I was staying up too late studying, or things like that,
or not.
So let me throw out mine, and that is that right before this
panel, I had a big cup of coffee.
Now, I know everyone has a little coffee.
That's fine.
But I am a fast talker from New Jersey,
which means that giving me coffee before public speaking
is probably not the wisest thing to do.
(laughter)
So, forgive me for that.
Almost every speaker this morning and this afternoon has
talked about the importance of greater collaboration in order
to develop a strategic response to preventing elder abuse.
Responding to elder abuse and financial exploitation
is no different.
It requires a significant amount of coordination and
collaboration at the local level among law enforcement,
the medical community, APS workers, ombudsman and,
of course, the financial community.
It also requires a significant amount of coordination and
collaboration vertically among the local governments,
state governments, and the federal governments.
And I think today's announcement of the Elder Justice
Coordinating Council is a critical first step towards
cementing those relations among all the different
levels of government.
Today's really phenomenal panel has representatives from every
link in that vertical chain.
Because I usually like to know what I'm about to hear,
let me just give you sort of a spoiler.
We'll be talking about how each level of government responds.
We'll also be talking about where we as representatives of
each level can see potential areas of collaboration.
I think it's time to start moving,
and I think this panel will hopefully identify some of
those areas where we can all do better at working together.
Our first panelists is Dr. Mark Lachs.
He's a Professor of Medicine and the Co-Chair of the Division of
Geriatrics and Gerontology at Weill Medical College.
He's the Director of the Cornell University Center
on Aging Research.
He's also the Director of the New York City Elder
Abuse Center.
And it's my pleasure to welcome Dr. Lachs.
(applause)
Dr. Mark Lachs: So, what an honor to be here.
And he's a fast talking New Jerseyan,
and I'm a fast talking New Yorker.
So that's even worse.
(laughter)
So I fashion my remarks about elder abuse and financial
exploitation kind of using the three hats that I've worn in
elder abuse.
The first is as a scientist, as someone who has been funded by
NIH and NIJ for 25 years now, trying to understand the
epidemiology of this problem.
The second, and perhaps most important,
is as a doctor who provides primary care to older adults,
and let me tell you that's hard even without abuse and neglect
and exploitation sort of superimposed.
And the third is as Director of the New York City Elder
Abuse Center, and this bills terrifically on Mr. West's
comments about collaboration, because New York has been
creative in responding to this epidemic in a collaborative way.
So, first the science.
I use the word epidemic.
I'm an epidemiologist.
It's not a word that I use trivially.
Last year, collaboratively, we completed a prevalent study in
New York State, one of the largest ever conducted in the
world, of 4,000 New Yorkers, rural, urban, upstate,
down state.
And in the past year, 7% of them said they had been
abused in some fashion.
The most common form of abuse was financial exploitation.
Four percent or one in 25 financial exploitation.
Now, I would submit to you that if there were an infectious
disease, or cancer, or other medical problem that afflicted
one in 25 Americans, okay, the CDC would be called.
It would be a public health emergency.
There would be surveillance officers in every major city.
It would be on the front page of the New York Times.
It's an epidemic.
And the infectious disease metaphor is a good one because
it is contagion.
Those who are victims of mistreatment become
impoverished, and they infect our other systems
of social welfare.
They become Medicaid recipients.
It is contagion financially provoked by elder abuse
and neglect.
Let me put on my doctor hat for a second and talk a little bit
about this problem.
I'm -- look, it's terrible to be a physical elder abuse victim.
It's awful, and I see those patients,
but let me make two comments in that regard.
The first is, I'm going to channel my friend Liz Loewy
who is here today, the ADA from New York City,
and say that rarely do I see a serious case of physical elder
abuse, a murder -- I'm going to testify in one next week in a
criminal trial -- that does not in some way begin or involve
financial exploitation.
It is a Gateway drug, if you will, to this problem.
It's just, it's just -- it's just very, very problematic.
And I would also point out that physical abuse,
while intolerable, is much rarer than financial exploitation,
okay, much rarer than financial exploitation.
So, what has been the medical response to this?
I'm sorry to say that my physician colleagues have been
somewhat asleep at the wheel.
I look at my pediatrician colleagues.
The pediatric movement for child abuse is one of the greatest
stories of social advocacy by physicians for a cause in the
history of American medicine.
I mean, if you look at pediatric textbooks,
you see this directly alongside pediatric
infectious diseases, Rickets.
You see child abuse.
They have been indoctrinated.
Not so with regard to elder abuse and physicians who care
for older adults.
There have been a few bright spots.
My dear colleague, Dr. Laura Mosqueda,
who spoke this morning, you've seen her
multidisciplinary teams.
We have one in New York.
That work is fantastic.
I think the work of the Investor Protection Institute,
the work that Bob Roush and Don Blandin are doing,
trying to educate physicians around financial vulnerability
of older adults, is really, really remarkable.
I mean, we tend to think of these sessions,
and it's somewhat artificial.
The morning is about prevention and the afternoon
is about intervention.
Well, I have news for you.
The best way, we just heard it, to ward off elder abuse is for
it not to have occurred.
And I like the bedsore analogy, right.
I teach my medical residents at Cornell the best way to treat a
bedsore is not to get one in the first place.
And we've developed scales, instruments -- Braden, Norton,
many of you in the room know them -- that determine at risk
for pressure ulcers.
In the same way, these guys have developed ways of determining
risk for financial vulnerability and exploitation.
So that is a very promising development.
And now I'd like to talk a little bit about the New York
City Elder Abuse Center.
Look, the reasons that older adults get financially exploited
is complex and multifactorial.
It's never one thing in geriatric medicine.
It's a combination of cognitive frailty, physical frailty,
a drug addicted adult child, mental illness in the family.
And to think that one provider in one silo is going to be able
to fix this is simply nuts.
It's simply nuts.
We need to work together.
It does take a village.
And the truth is our New York City Elder Abuse Center are a
group of grassroot providers, physicians, housing,
social workers, NGOs, governmental agencies, police,
from all corners of New York, who sit together on a regular
basis and hear the city's most difficult cases.
There are dozens.
A few months ago, a young APS worker presented a 90-year-old
woman referred from a case management agency.
Her daughter had access to her brokerage accounts and to her
bank accounts.
Instead of using the money for this diabetic woman for insulin
and home care and home attendance,
she diverted it to buy heroin.
We were so concerned when we heard the case presented that we
had Protective Services go right then and there to the home where
she found the older woman on the ground quite ill.
From there, she went directly to the emergency department,
where the emergency department sadly did their thing,
patched her up, rehydrated her, and said,
it's time to go home now back to that environment.
Credit to the Adult Protective Service professional,
she got on the phone and called us back.
And one of our docs got on the phone with one of the emergency
room docs, doc to doc, and said, not happening.
That woman now lives with her cognition, her dignity,
her resources in an assisted living facility.
She is not a Medicaid recipient because of that intervention,
because of the communication, because of multidisciplinary
collaboration.
You know, rarely do I get --
(applause)
Thank you.
We who work in multidisciplinary teams want to work with the
financial community in a number of different ways,
and it's rare that I get an opportunity to address so many
people from the financial services and banking industry.
Look, you who have come today are enlightened.
I'm sort of preaching to the choir.
I'm very mindful of the risks you take in trying to protect
your clients.
That choosing to dig deeper, to look under the rug,
as opposed to looking the other way,
could invoke the fury of that client or a family.
It might involve some regulatory risk to you, okay.
I'm well aware that client may fire you and find some other
investment advisor who is very happy not to look under the rug,
not to drill down.
But you are truly, truly serving the fiduciary interest
of that individual.
Okay.
So good for you, and I look forward to a day when this
is standard in the industry.
It will be like, how did we have cars without seat belts in 20 or
30 years from now, or even sooner, I should hope.
(applause)
Thank you.
In closing, you know, my favorite course in medical
school is a course called Pathophysiology.
And for those of you who are not in the medical field,
it's how diseases occur and cause suffering.
So, in pneumonia, how bacteria get into the lung and produce an
infection and shortness of breath, okay.
We need the investment community's help not only
in providing service, but understanding the science.
We can understand the pathophysiology of loss
of capacity, of undue influence.
I work with neuroscientists and functional imaging experts who
can help older adults by understanding who is vulnerable
from an evidence-based scientific standpoint.
It's just remarkable.
You know, as an internist, I'm really good at blood pressure.
I'm really good at hypertension.
I can adjust someone's insulin.
I play with their blood pressure medications.
And they come back and they are appreciative.
When I extricate someone from a situation of financial
exploitation, that is an out of the park home run.
We need your help.
You need our help.
The older population that built and maintained this great
society deserves nothing less.
Thank you very much, Andy.
(applause)
Andy Mao: Our second panelist is Page Ulrey.
She is the deputy, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney from the
Prosecutor's Office in Seattle, Washington.
She has been prosecuting elder abuse cases since 2001 and
financial exploitation cases since 2007.
Please help me welcome Page Ulrey.
(applause)
Page Ulrey: Good afternoon.
I am one of two full-time attorneys dedicated to the
prosecution of felony level elder abuse cases in my office.
I specifically focus on the prosecution of elder financial
exploitation and neglect cases.
In the ten years I've been doing this work,
I have seen firsthand the ravages of elder abuse.
And more recently, in the past five or so years,
the ravages of financial exploitation on these victims.
Or colleague, Candace Heisler, calls the exploitation of elders
financial violence, and that is in my experience
a very apt description.
Many victims of these crimes have not only lost most or all
of their life savings, but they have also suffered a betrayal by
someone they trusted and often loved.
And the loss of assets combined with that betrayal has a
profoundly damaging effect on anyone,
but especially on someone who is compromised already by disease,
or dementia, or loneliness.
Rarely, do we end up going to trial in my office on a
financial exploitation case where we have a victim who is
actually available and able to testify.
Because usually our victims become very seriously ill or
die after they learn of the exploitation.
This past year I prosecuted a case involving the financial
exploitation of five elderly clients by their Bankers Life
agent, a woman named Jasmine Kassim.
Jasmine Kassim selected five of her most vulnerable clients,
and for months she groomed them for the exploitation.
She groomed them by visiting them frequently,
by eating meals with them, by showing how concerned she was
for them, by confiding in them, by sharing her personal life
with them.
After fully gaining their trust, she told them their annuities
had matured, and it was time for them to reinvest
those annuities.
So completely did these people trust her that they each simply
put their signatures on their personal checks and gave them
to her to reinvest the money.
Kassim completed these checks in her own,
the names of actually her daughters,
and deposited them in two accounts she created in her
daughters' names.
She then proceeded to withdrawal the money and for the next
couple of years lived off of that money.
Lived an incredibly lavish lifestyle,
including frequent trips, dining out at expensive restaurants,
shopping sprees, online psychics,
everything you can think of.
In total, she stole over a million dollars from these
five people.
My office filed multiple counts of felony theft against Kassim
for her actions.
After we filed those charges, we took a deposition of each of the
victims in order to preserve their testimony in case we lost
them before we went to trial.
Two of those victims are Carmen Pascua (phonetic) and Michael
Wispinski (phonetic).
From Carmen Pascua, Kassim took six checks,
totaling over $424,000, all of the money she had saved during
her long career working at Boeing.
For Michael Wispinski, Kassim took nine checks,
totaling $352,000, leaving him with virtually nothing.
Michael and Carmen are still alive and they have given me
their permission to show you excerpts of their depositions
that they gave in this case, with the hope that they might
play some small part in preventing these crimes from
occurring to someone else in the future.
(Excerpt from deposition)
Q: At any point when you knew Jasmine,
did she ask you for money?
A: No, she don't ask me any penny.
Q: Did she ever ask you for a loan?
A: No.
Even my house, lose my house, she don't even say anything,
anything, anything, anything, nothing.
Q: If she had asked you for money,
would you have given it to her?
A: No!
Q: What about for her daughters?
A: No!
I don't even see her daughter around there.
Q: Do you know how much money Jasmine took from you?
A: A lot.
I don't know many checks, that one?
Seven check or eight.
Q: Six checks.
A: Six checks.
Q: Did you ever talk to Jasmine about this?
A: No, no.
Q: Do you know how much money you have left at Bankers Life?
A: I don't know how much left there in Bankers.
Q: Okay.
Can you tell us how this has affected you, what Jasmine did?
A: I'm so mad, sometimes I cry, I cry, I have headache,
oh my God.
I got a hard time to work, and then she kept all the money.
What's that for?
Oh, my God.
Out of my mind.
Q: Do you have enough money left for your retirement now?
A: Nothing, nothing.
That my pension.
That's it.
Q: I have no other questions.
Speaker: I actually have no further questions.
Q: So, can you tell us what you do remember?
How many checks do you remember writing to Jasmine Kassim?
A: I just remember writing one check to SE Sub,
I think it was SE Sub, and that's all I remember.
Q: And how much was that check for?
A: I think, I think it was for 25,000.
Q: And that was what you understood was going to
be going to Chicago?
A: Well, that's what I understood, yeah.
Q: Did you ever agree to write any checks to any of Jasmine's
family members?
A: Oh, no.
No, I don't remember writing any check to her family members.
Q: What about to Jasmine herself?
Did you ever write a check to Jasmine?
A: No, I never wrote any check in Jasmine's name, no.
Q: Okay.
A: No.
Q: Do you remember when the last time was that you saw her?
A: Oh, I don't remember.
Well, the last time I think it was when she took me out
for dinner.
Q: Do you know what the total amount of money is that was
taken from you?
A: No, I don't.
No, I don't.
Q: Can you tell us how you've been affected by what happened
to you?
A: Well, of course, it was a terrible shock to me,
because I trusted, I trusted her.
And it was really a disaster to me,
because then I started worrying about how I'm going to make my
living or what will happen to me.
So I didn't really want to think much about it.
(Mr. Wispinski crying)
Q: Do you want to take a break, Mr. Wispinski?
(Mr. Wispinski crying)
Let's take a break.
Speaker: Going off the record.
The time is approximately 11:20.
A: I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Q: It's okay.
(End of deposition excerpt)
Page Ulrey: I can think of no other way or more articulate
way of describing for you what we're seeing than that video.
Jasmine Kassim pled guilty to ten counts of felony theft a
couple of months ago.
She received an exceptional sentence of 75 months,
and she is now in prison.
(applause)
We were very lucky in this case that Bankers Life agreed to
reimburse these victims for their losses.
(applause)
In the majority of our cases, our victims never see a penny
of their money again.
And at least in Washington State,
victims compensation funds are insufficient to provide any
compensation for the losses suffered by these victims.
These cases are difficult for us in the criminal justice system
to investigate and prosecute because they involve analyzing
financial and medical records.
They involve issues of financial capacity, powers of attorney,
guardianships, conservatorships, undue influence, and consent.
None of those things are things they teach at the academy,
and many of those things are not even taught in law school.
To effectively investigate and prosecute a criminal case
involving issues of this kind requires training
and specialization.
And yet across the country, the majority of jurisdictions do not
have detectives and prosecutors who have this
training and specialization.
So, without them, victims across the country and their families
and reporters of these crimes are all too likely to hear that
their case is civil, not criminal,
and that there is nothing the justice system can do for them.
In addition to trained and specialized detectives and
prosecutors, we need experts in order to prosecute these cases.
My office is one of the few prosecutors offices that I know
of that has a forensic accountant on staff,
and she is absolutely vital to our ability to handle these
cases successfully.
In addition, we often need geriatricians,
geriatric psychologists and psychiatrists to conduct
capacity evaluations of our victims so that we can determine
whether and to what degree their capacity was impaired at the
time these crimes occurred.
And as Laura Mosqueda mentioned this morning,
the Mini-Mental Status Exam that is so often used in the field is
massively inadequate to assess capacity for these purposes.
Most prosecutors offices in the country have no money for or
access to any of these experts.
And again, the result is that many of these cases are going
uninvestigated and unprosecuted.
We also need advocacy for victims of these crimes.
Of the 39 police agencies that we get our cases from in King
County, only one has an elder victim advocate.
Our office itself has no advocates for victims of
financial exploitation.
Several years ago, I prosecuted a case where a man with advanced
dementia was removed from his nursing home
by his massage therapist.
She then took him to the local courthouse, married him,
and went directly for her honeymoon to the local Bank
of America where she attempted to withdrawal all of his money.
A very astute bank teller figured out what was going on,
refused the transaction, and reported the situation
to the police.
The man's assets were saved, and the massage therapist
was prosecuted.
What we need from those of you in the financial services
industry is training of your employees to recognize and
report possible exploitation like this teller did.
We need you to refuse transactions or freeze
assets temporarily until law enforcement or APS has a chance
to investigate.
We need you to make it easier for us to obtain your records,
because it's your records that are so essential for us to be
able to prosecute these cases successfully.
We need forensic accountants to conduct analysis of these
records so that we can understand what happened and
understand how we can prove these cases to the jury.
And we need you on our multidisciplinary teams that
bring our different disciplines together to discuss cases and
how to improve our systemic response to this issue.
I echo Dr. Lachs' statement that we are in the middle
of an epidemic.
It is absolutely imperative that we come together across our many
disciplines to seriously address this issue on both a local and a
national level.
Thank you.
(applause)
Andy Mao: Our next panelist is Ricker Hamilton.
He is the Director of the Office of Aging
and Disability Services.
In the main Department of Health and Human Services since early
1980s, he has been a tireless worker on behalf of the elderly,
as well as persons with disabilities.
He has been a member of various programs involving
conservatorships, guardianships, as well as APS.
And it's my great pleasure to introduce Mr. Hamilton.
(applause)
Ricker Hamilton: Good afternoon.
I was having a great afternoon until Assistant Secretary
Greenlee mentioned all the photos that were taken and
realized I wasn't in any.
(laughter)
And I was recovering from that, but then they showed the video
with some of my friends, and you heard my voice but you didn't
see my face.
So I guess this tall and handsome thing is gone by
the wayside.
So, I apologize for that.
As you heard from Andy, I've been working in the field of
social work for 35 years and have been working in Adult
Protective Services since January 4th of 1982.
To be here at the White House to talk about elder abuse is
just an incredible honor.
I cannot tell you how it feels for people to be in the field
to be here doing that.
And the panel this morning, the announcements that were made,
are just over the moon.
To think that we're going to have some resources to
talk about the energy that was on the panel,
the mention of representative payees,
which is one of the largest unmet needs in this country,
is just exciting for us.
For the past eight months at the Department of Human Services in
Maine, what we've been trying to do is combine two large offices.
And we were doing that because we wanted to have cooperation
and communication more.
So we combined the Office of Elder Services and the Office of
Aging and Adults with Disability Services and, as Andy just said,
the Office of Aging and Disability Services.
To watch professionals from very different fields come together
and to find commonality at each juncture was very,
very exciting.
And that's really what we're talking about today, isn't it?
We're talking about having the same level of collaboration
needed to address elder abuse.
You'll hear that word a lot.
It's not overused enough today, because it's the only way that
we get to address the needs of these older victims and,
at times, persons with disabilities.
Also, sadly, we know that these victims have various
forms of abuse.
So you and I may get involved in a case of financial
exploitation, and if we're not careful,
we may miss that they've been victims of emotional
and psychological abuse.
They have neglect.
Sexual abuse is probably the most missed form of it all.
So we can't laser in on just one form of abuse.
We have to open our eyes, open our assessment,
open to what we're listening to, and just know that there
is co-occurring forms of abuse at times.
I'd like to give you an example of that.
In Maine we had a case of an elderly woman who was isolated
by one of her sons from the rest of the family members and was
driven from Maine to Florida.
All along the way, they utilized ATMs and banks,
and he was financially exploiting his mother.
Well, our good friends at a local bank noticed the
difference in transactions and withdrawals and brought it to
our attention, and we were able to get an
administrative subpoena.
And I'll mention that probably again working with Adult
Protective Services to protect financial institutions.
Don't have to divulge must confidential information.
Tell us that you have concerns.
We'll work with you.
We'll work with Adult Protective Services to do that.
We did a great job with our partners in the financial
institution in this case.
We saved some of the funds.
We were able to freeze the accounts,
which is a fantastic tool.
But we forgot one thing.
We didn't keep our eyes open to other forms of abuse.
And after we had done all the things and thought we had done
a good job, it was only then, weeks later,
that we noticed that this lady had a missing tooth.
And when we asked what happened, her response was this.
(shaking fist)
We had missed the physical abuse all along the way,
and we missed the opportunity to intervene with her and to
get the support she needed to do that.
So, we need to keep our eyes open and know that many of us
who are older are suffering at the hands of different types of
abuse as well.
The solutions for all of our challenges surrounding elder
abuse is in the room today.
They are in our agencies, in our offices.
If we truly focus on the victim and forget for a moment about
all the barriers we see, the answers are right in
front of us.
We find ways to work with one another.
Responding to elder abuse is not the responsibility,
as you've just heard, of any one or two agencies.
It is the mandate for all of us.
Just like child abuse and domestic violence are forms of
family violence that deserve a significant and unified
community response, so does elder abuse.
So we are asking for nothing more,
but we're certainly not asking for anything less.
Collaboration among agencies is the only thing that works.
Many agencies are already addressing the needs of older
victims and working hard to change policies, procedures,
outreach programs.
And shelters like Martha's Cottage in Maine are developed
specifically to meet the needs of older women.
And, not surprisingly, we have found that when these women come
into our shelter that there are a lot of financial
issues going on.
They have no financial backing and don't know how to get it and
have never dealt with finances.
Outreach, increased public awareness,
and joint efforts are effective tools.
They are the only tools that seem to work for us.
And also the experience in Maine is a bit different than
some other states.
We're the oldest per capita than any other state in the country,
and 18 and younger we have the smallest population.
So when we talk about elder abuse at the Maine Criminal
Justice Academy to the young cadets -- and, believe me,
in the large auditorium, they all look like Doogie
Howser to me now.
(laughter)
It's the same as grand rounds.
Sorry, doctor.
(laughter)
When we talk about elder abuse, and I say to them that the
likelihood of you being called to a home and discovering elder
abuse is far greater than child abuse,
they think sometimes my head is on sideways.
Until they get out in the field and they've had their eyes open,
and they only get a portion of training in elder abuse that
they do in domestic violence and child abuse, but they find it.
So the young cadets are the ones,
the points of change for us, as well.
And being a reserve police officer,
that's what I specialize in for a certain police department,
is to work with persons with disabilities,
to work with older persons who may be presenting as difficult,
not wanting to respond when, in fact,
there are some things we can do to intervene.
The challenge for Adult Protective Services,
and this is a big challenge, and keep in mind that's my
professional experience, we have to be the most responsive and
flexible and engaging partner in the community.
And the challenge I'm giving you today is if not,
you'll hold us to that high standard.
But I'm also going to ask you to learn about Adult Protective
Services in your community, because we're very different
in different counties and different states.
There's different statutes.
There's different policies and procedures.
Oftentimes, I would make mistakes with my friends in
the financial institution or with law enforcement,
asking them to intervene in an elder abuse case and thinking
that they weren't.
I knew what they were supposed to do,
and they weren't doing it.
The challenge for us is to find out not only what we're
empowered to do, what the statutes tell us to do,
but also I need to understand that we need to,
as community partners, what our limitations are.
I may be asking or thinking that you can do something
that you cannot.
But there's ways that we can work together.
We mentioned confidentiality.
There's ways that we can get around that.
There's ways that you can report to APS.
There's ways that we can respond that protect
your confidentiality.
If you don't have the tool, like an administrative subpoena,
we can talk about it.
Get in contact with me.
We'll find out what our statutes are.
We'll work to do it.
What happens in law enforcement when APS is involved is we're
able to get medical records and bank records,
even sometimes before law enforcement could
with their subpoena.
But also within statutes in many,
many states is the ability of Adult Protective Services to
share what we've gathered with law enforcement,
with our partners in prosecution, as well.
There are many models to look at,
Oregon and Maine and Massachusetts,
for reporting for financial institutions.
Find one that works for you.
The one thing that I would say to you is it's great to have a
program, but you have to have a way to sustain it.
It's not great to have the frontline staff,
the tellers to have cards, working with the managers to
say, slow the process down.
Because we all know that about elder abuse.
Whether it's an emergency department or in your bank,
the thing that we need to do to slow down the perpetrators is to
slow the process down.
We need to talk to one another.
We need to begin to look at this in a different way.
Find a model that works for you.
Tweak it.
Make sure that it fits your community and your statutes.
I have a couple of action steps that I'd like in closing to
share with you.
Review the statutes I've already mentioned.
Regulations to eliminate obstacles to reporting,
investigating, and prosecuting cases.
Make sure that we're working so that the prosecutors are getting
cases that they can prosecute.
Make sure that Adult Protective Services is working very closely
with law enforcement so that evidence is protected.
Make sure that we do that all along the way.
And what a dynamic change it is when APS and law enforcement and
medical people together go to a prosecutor with a case.
It changes the whole dynamic of it.
It's very supportive.
And the likelihood of another case being prosecuted by that
young DA is greatly increased, as well.
Develop a community plan with all of your community partners:
Domestic violence, sexual assault,
long-term care ombudsman.
In Maine, I don't know what I would do without our long-term
care ombudsman.
APS law enforcement and our area agencies on aging.
Work together to increase public awareness.
Cross train opportunities and support one another privately
and publicly.
When there's an opportunity for you to go to your state house
and to support your community partners for resources or to
talk about elder abuse, do it.
If you're in the community and there's an opportunity for you
to support Adult Protective Services,
which may not get the recognition that it needs
in our legislature, how powerful is that if you come with me to
testify at those hearings, because you and I are going
to depend upon each other in the community.
Let's support one another up in front of the legislator,
as well.
Develop a protocol and a system that supports
following the protocol.
You can have great protocols, but you have to have an ability
that you hold one another accountable to live to what
we said we're going to do.
People are counting on us.
We lose more than our money in financial exploitation.
We lose hope.
We lose our independence.
And you who have worked with victims the way that I have,
when you look into a victim's eyes, it's that loss of hope.
We don't want to see that.
And also build sustainable community response that survives
significant changes, whether it's an administrative change
or significant partners within your community change.
One of the best things, the Department of Justice funded
the Maine Elder Death Analysis Review Team through the American
Bar Association.
It was a very small grant.
I think it was around $5,000.
In my professional career, the Maine Elder Death Analysis
Review Team has the best multidisciplinary team that's
ever happened.
Law enforcement, all of the agencies coming together.
We look at serious injury and death.
I would encourage you to look at that.
If you haven't -- don't have it in your community,
take a look at that.
There are many of us who would help you do it, as well.
In closing, I have a quote on my office wall.
It's been there so long.
In fact, when I changed jobs nine months ago,
I started to take pictures of it and write it down,
and I decided to take the whole bulletin board.
(laughter)
It also had my son's writings over the past ten years.
So I just couldn't part with it.
But it really has been marching orders for myself.
Aside from "Stay Client Focused" which is a sign behind my desk,
what this says is, look back and remember.
Remember how we got here.
Remember what it's like.
Remember what we're leaving from.
Remember where we were when we developed our
policies and procedures.
All good things.
But then look ahead as we're doing today,
and if you don't get excited after today about elder abuse
and what's going to happen in the future, change careers.
Because this is exciting stuff, guys.
(laughter)
Look ahead and imagine.
Can you imagine what we could do for older victims in the future
if we work together?
If we stopped saying, this policy, I can't do this,
and just put the client in the middle.
It's very exciting.
So look ahead and imagine.
And the final line is look into your heart and honor elders and
take action.
I know there's troublemakers in this audience and
troublemakers listening.
We need a few.
Take action.
Go out, stay client focused.
And know from the panels this morning and the panels this
afternoon and the people that are in the audience,
there's plenty of us there to help, want to help,
and can't believe and want to take the momentum that's
developed today and take it back home and make a big difference.
Thank you very much.
(applause)
Andy Mao: Our next speaker is Charles Harwood.
He's the Deputy Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau at
the Federal Trade Commission.
For a number of years, he has led a number of educational and
prosecutorial efforts focusing on financial scams that affect
the consumers as well as the elderly.
So please help me welcome Charles Harwood.
(applause)
Charles Harwood: Thank you, Andy.
So I'm Charles Harwood, as Andy has said.
I'm with the Federal Trade Commission.
The Federal Trade Commission is a consumer protection agency.
I have a few remarks I wanted to make today about protecting
seniors and elders.
I wanted to emphasize that these remarks are based on
my experiences in 20 some years of consumer protection.
While I think most of them reflect the views of the entire
Federal Trade Commission, I didn't consult with them before
I wrote them, so please understand that they are
my comments.
The FTC, we do a couple different things at the FTC,
but one of the things we do is a lot of consumer
and business education.
We educate folks around the country about how to prevent
frauds and scams.
We educate businesses.
The other thing that we do is we engage in law enforcement.
We file cases.
But in connection with both those activities,
one of the main tools we use, one of the main things that we
are proudest of at the FTC is our consumer complaint
handling process.
For the last 12 years we have been engaged in building a new
consumer complaint system, a very robust system that takes in
complaints from consumers, both directly through our website,
FTC.gov, and through other agencies and organizations.
That consumer complaint system now has about 7 million consumer
complaints in it from the last five years alone.
Seven million consumer complaints.
Last year alone we took in 1.8 million consumer complaints.
About half of those concerned fraud.
When you look at those complaints,
one thing that strikes immediately is the number of
complaints that we receive from elderly consumers.
And the number has been going up each of the past three years.
In 2009, about 10% of our complaints came from consumers
60 and over.
In 2010, it was up to 12%.
In 2011, it was up to 15% of the complaints.
So each year it's gone up.
And of course that's a troubling trend.
We would like to know more about that.
A few months ago the FTC launched a pilot project,
a peer counseling project, with the AARP Foundation.
The idea was to find out more about some of these victims.
And a couple of our speakers today have talked about focusing
on the victims.
We wanted to do the same thing.
We wanted to focus on the victims,
find out what their experiences were.
So we entered into this pilot project with AARP Foundation,
a very small project, as you'll understand in a minute.
But the results already, the information that we have seen
already from the consumers that our counselors have talked to is
sobering and troubling.
And I just wanted to relate to you some of the things that
we're hearing about.
Remember, these are people who -- what's happened is
the consumers have filed complaints with the Federal
Trade Commission.
They have agreed to have their names turned over to one of our
peer counselors who work, who are employed by AARP
under contract with us.
And these peer counselors have then called the consumers back
and spoken with them about their experiences.
And here are some of the things that we've seen in the portion
we received in just the last three months or so.
First of all, our counselors report the consumers reported
participating in -- and these are older consumers -- phoney
sweepstakes, foreign lotteries, grandparent scams,
time share buy backs, reverse mortgage scams,
affinity investment fraud and fake checks.
These are the most commonly reported.
Grandparent scams: Basically people calling and claiming
to be a grandchild or somehow related to the senior who took
the call, emanating from places like Australia, Barbados,
Canada, Costa-Rica, Honduras, Las Vegas, Nevada, obviously,
Peru, and the UK, and most frequently Jamaica.
And I know we heard about Jamaica this morning in
the tape that we saw this morning, but many of our
victims reported also receiving calls from Jamaica.
Consumers, again older consumers,
frequently reported incidents of threats and general harassment
when they discontinued or tried to cut off dealing with folks
who were calling them on the phone and contacting them.
In one case the victim reported he was called 28 times in one
day and repeatedly threatened with physical violence if he
didn't continue sending money in response to these calls.
Again, these are older consumers.
A common theme that we began to see,
particularly in the last month or so of calls,
is consumers who are telling us that the con artist first called
about one thing.
They responded by paying some money.
And then within a matter of weeks,
they began to receive more and more calls about different kinds
of scams.
So once they were hooked, they kept getting more calls,
and were targeted repeatedly over and over again.
I know many of you who have dealt with this area know
that's a problem.
In terms of financial losses, so we've only spoken with about
1,000 consumers in this small pilot project so far in the past
three or four months.
About 200 of them gave us information on their
financial losses.
And this too is staggering in some ways.
It is truly staggering.
Of the 200 who talked to us, they reported,
and this is just 200 consumers in a couple of months,
they reported almost $6 million in financial losses.
Six million dollars among 200 consumers in just a
couple of months.
An average about $30,000 per consumer who told us
about losing money.
And that's money that is hard earned money.
It's money that none of these folks can afford to lose.
Here are some of the observations from our
counselors in response to these calls.
They said that many victims needed to talk
about their losses.
They needed to share their shame and disappointment for
having participated in their own demise.
Consequently, our counselors reported calls are emotional,
and while they often lasted half an hour,
many of them go over several hours in time while our
counselors talk to consumers.
For many victims, the financial hit was significant.
Some could no longer remain in their homes.
Others had lost their retirement savings are
now trying frantically to reenter the job market.
These are folks who are 60, 70, in some cases older.
We realize that not only do we need to talk to them about the
scams that they had dealt with, but we needed to begin talking
about how to deal with debt reduction issues,
credit counseling issues, other things that you would typically
deal with with consumers who were having other kinds of
financial problems.
We needed to provide that information to these
consumers as well.
And this is an interesting one that our counselors reported.
Family relationships among these folks who have been defrauded
are often broke and beyond repair as a result of the fraud.
While some families rallied around and supported the victim,
a more common response on the part of family members is anger,
blame, and a deterioration of trust.
And these are folks who frankly should be supporting the
victims, not -- but of course they don't know how to respond.
They are struggling with how to respond.
So, let's talk about response briefly,
both at the FTC and among the things that we can do.
So, as I said, the FTC is a law enforcement agency,
and we're proud of the cases we have filed.
A number of our cases have involved targeting scams that
particularly affect consumers.
We filed -- I know this morning somebody talked
about mortgage fraud.
We filed about 36 cases in the past couple of years against
mortgage fraud schemes, schemes in which people promised to keep
consumers in their homes but, in fact,
in many instances they ultimately lost their homes.
We have filed multiple prize promotions cases.
And prize promotions are one of the major kinds of scams we see
particularly targeting older consumers.
In fact, we did some analysis recently where we looked at our
database that I was just mentioning a few minutes ago,
and about 57% of all the prize promotion scams that we heard
about came from consumers who were at least 60,
were reported to us by consumers who were 60 years old.
And 37% of the prize promotion scam reports that came to us
were from consumers over 70 years old.
Thirty-seven percent out of 100% of all the complaints.
So it's a huge percentage of the complaints.
We filed a variety of cases.
One that I'm particularly proud of,
because it also involves the U.S.
Attorneys Office and shows what could be done with collaboration
between civil and criminal law enforcement,
is the United States versus Bezeredi.
So this is a case that was actually done originally
by the FTC in about 2006, somewhere in that range.
The individuals calling elderly consumers primarily offering
phoney prizes, non-existent prizes, investments,
a variety of things.
Getting literally millions of dollars out of consumers.
We eventually were able to shut Mr. Bezeredi's operation down
and get some money back in at the FTC.
But that wasn't enough, of course.
Mr. Bezeredi was still out there.
He was still in public.
There's no reason to think he wouldn't start it again.
Fortunately, with the help of the U.S.
Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, and the U.S. Department
of Justice, recently we were able to obtain
a conviction for Mr. Bezeredi.
And when the judge heard the case,
here is what the judge said about Mr. Bezeredi's activities.
The judge characterized the case as, or Mr. Bezeredi, as cold,
calculating, and callus.
He proceeded to convict Mr. Bezeredi to nine years in
jail, nine years in jail for ripping off consumers.
Now, it doesn't seem like a lot, but believe me that's a real
success given that there was a time when it was hard to get
justice to even take these things seriously.
Other kinds of scams I could talk about,
but I know my time is short.
I want to talk -- I've talked briefly about the counseling
effort that we engage in at the FTC with AARP.
I hope we can do more of that in the future.
Our purpose is to provide pure counseling.
Our purpose is to work more closely with victims,
because clearly it's not enough just to prosecute the case.
We need to think about what's happening with the victims.
We need to spend more time talking to them.
People who need to spend half an hour to an hour on the phone
talking to you are clearly people who need more attention
than they are getting from the criminal justice system and from
the law enforcement system.
Some other things that we've been doing, as I said,
we do consumer education.
We spend a lot of time dealing with health fraud and other
kinds of fraud, trying to educate consumers
about the problems.
We'd been working on some train the trainer type programs.
But all of these, of all of these things,
they require one particular thing.
They require coordination and cooperation,
more than anything else.
The way the FTC succeeds and the way that all of us succeed is
through coordination and cooperation.
So, in closing, I just wanted to mention a couple things that
we'd like to see, I'd like to see us do more of.
I think these things work, and when I think back over my 20
some years protecting consumers, senior consumers,
they are the kinds of things that I was most proud of.
First of all, I'd like to see us do more work in the area
of pure counseling.
I would like to see us be willing to devote more time to
pure counseling, whether that's through reaching out the way the
FTC does or through creating 800 numbers and opportunities for
consumers to call in to talk.
Secondly -- and I think that's the part we need to identify
partners to do that, we need to work more closely on that.
Secondly, I'd like to see us do more in the area of teaching.
Everyone teaching others how to deal with elder abuse.
Let's face it, there simply are not enough people out there that
know how to do it.
We've heard a lot about that already today.
I can tell you that very -- I feel like we struggle constantly
to get judges, prosecutors, and others to pay attention
to the problem.
At the FTC it's a problem that frankly we should spend more
time with.
And, in my sense, there's simply not enough training out there
for elder abuse.
That requires cooperation, elder abuse prevention.
And then third, I think we need to do a lot more about
handling complaints.
We need to do more in terms of dealing with the complaints
that come in.
I talked about the FTC getting 1.8 million
complaints from consumers.
We share those with law enforcement.
We talk with the law enforcement about them.
But, frankly, we simply don't do enough.
We don't do enough sharing of complaints,
enough sharing of the stuff, of the information that is coming
into us to try to identify and target more carefully the frauds
that are occurring, particularly frauds
that are targeting consumers.
So it would be great if we could work more in the area
of sharing complaints.
And what I just want to emphasize in closing is that
none of these things could happen without significant
cooperation among all of us in this room and, frankly,
those who are watching and throughout the country.
It really is critical that we share and coordinate
and cooperate.
So, with that, I'll say thank you and appreciate your time.
(applause)
Andy Mao: Our final panelist almost doesn't require introduction.
She's the Director of Lifelong Justice,
an initiative that she founded with other leaders in the elder
justice field.
She is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars.
And given her significant contributions to the field of
elder justice, she was awarded the prestigious McArthur
Fellowship in 2011.
It is my great pleasure and privilege to introduce
MT Connolly.
(applause)
MT Connolly: I think the best thing I did while I was at the
Department of Justice was to recruit the wonderful Andy Mao.
Ricker Hamilton: All right!
(applause)
MT Connolly: It's a great honor to be here at the White
House today and to be part of this amazing panel.
My Uncle Ned who is a Franciscan monk said at the time of my
parents' wedding when he had to give a talk, he said, you know,
when I got here, only God and I knew what I was going to say.
Now only God knows.
(laughter)
So, I'm not sure what's going to come out here.
You know, I wanted to start with sort of that everyone
has a story.
And I think all of us who work in this field know that everyone
has a story.
And often each of us has a story every few weeks.
And some of you know, I'm writing or more agonizing
about writing a book about elder abuse.
And so I was looking for literature about elder abuse
in the LGBT community.
And there is no data.
There is no data on almost anything.
Certainly, there is no data on that.
So I called the wonderful Mary Twomey.
And I said, Mary, what are you seeing?
What kinds of patterns are you seeing?
And she had talked to the Fatality Review Team,
one of the ones like Ricker was just discussing now in San
Francisco, and they said that they had seen a pattern of much
younger men both financially and physically abusing much
older men.
And so I thought about that and started to write about it.
And then my son Nathan had a lung collapse and ended up
having surgery recently.
And so he and I were sharing a hospital room with an older man
who was quite confused.
He was in his late eighties, and he had a much younger partner.
And he was on the phone at night with his much younger partner
saying, honey, I don't know where all the passwords are
to all the accounts.
I think I've given them all to you already.
And I just got a stomach ache thinking about what
Mary had said.
But it also gave me a really strong sense of, you know,
the complicated balance.
Because he seemed like a very devoted younger partner and was
handling the case management.
And, on the other hand, there was this really
complicated red flag.
And so I told the nurse.
I said, I couldn't forgive myself if I didn't report this
and ask you to report it, but, on the other hand, you know,
it needs some looking into.
So, in any event, that's the everyone has a story,
and often everyone has a story every week.
My task today is to talk about the high cost of elder abuse
and how a modest investment of resources could both mitigate
the suffering of millions of people and also save
billions of dollars.
And really beginning to get a better handle on the cost,
which we also have not quantified,
and haven't even really begun to quantify is part
of fashioning a response.
And so I think it's critical that we put it on the table.
I'd like to start with three case examples.
When we talk about financial exploitation,
we usually think about theft or fraud.
In fact, greed drives all sorts of elder abuse and all sorts of
elder abuse reeks not only human suffering,
but also has a huge economic implication,
often draining countless billions from public programs,
financial institutions, nonprofits, businesses,
employers, charities, families, and older people themselves.
First example: A video made by the Office for Victims of Crime
features a 96-year-old woman name Miss Mary who lived with
her grandson and his wife in their Florida trailer home.
First they stole her burial payments and they treated her
like a servant.
Then one night in a drunken rage her grandson sexually assaulted
her for numerous hours.
She survived, but she never lived independently again,
and spent her last three years in nursing homes and hospitals
penniless with Medicare and Medicaid footing the bill.
That early financial exploitation turned out
to have been the canary in the coal mine, but no one heard it.
Neglect, too, is often driven by greed,
such as when adult children withhold needed care from
their parents. Why?
Because they don't want to deplete their assets that
they hope to inherit.
This, too, is a form of exploitation.
Neglect in an individual case is tragic.
Systemic neglect can be catastrophic.
We heard from Mr. West earlier about the Howser case that
billed Medicare and Medicaid and then pocketed the money instead
of providing care for frail residents.
That's fraud.
Cathedral Rock, which was a Missouri nursing home chain
that was also prosecuted by colleagues and former colleagues
of Andy's and mine, neglected numerous residents so severely
that they suffered malnutrition, pressure ulcers that exposed
bones, gangrene requiring numerous amputations, sepsis,
injuries, and deaths.
Not only did the neglect in that case lead to untold torment,
but it also increased the resident's needs for acute
care and intensive care, and long-term care,
causing numerous avoidable hospital readmissions.
The result: Again, a mammoth drain on Medicaid, Medicare,
and private resources.
We don't think of financial exploitation as causing health
problems, but as Mark and Laura have pointed out today,
it does. Why?
Because it triggers a downward spiral from which older victims
often no longer have the reserves to recover,
as in the example of Sheri Caplan's mother,
the case that Laura cited earlier.
That's also what happened with 86-year-old Clarence Peterson,
who was living independently when a younger woman approached
him at a grocery store and said in 2008, don't I know you?
Two months later they were married in Reno.
Soon she had $150,000 of his money.
When he discovered the scam, he was devastated and moved into an
assisted living facility where he spent almost four years.
Page prosecuted the woman who exploited not just Peterson but
several other victims, as well.
And just by the way, Page told me last night that she was in
jail until just recently and she's already back at it.
Clarence Peterson's family contacted Page three weeks
ago to thank her again for vindicating his rights and
to tell her that Mr. Peterson died on May 22nd.
These aren't isolated examples.
The recent phone surveys, like the one in New York that Mark
talked about, and also another phone survey that is national,
have uncovered an epidemic of elder financial exploitation.
And those surveys can't even capture those at greatest risk.
People who can't answer or don't have a phone,
people who are too scared to took,
people who live in facilities, and those who have dementia.
It turns out, as Laura was discussing this morning,
that with age, financial -- excuse me -- financial
capacity often wanes.
Even before dementia is diagnosed,
in the early and often undetected stages of cognitive
impairment, older people are exquisitely vulnerable to
financial exploitation.
Scammers bank on this and target older people accordingly.
We urgently need research to help us understand how to more
effectively prevent the problem.
We also need research to eliminate the ways in which
financial abuse is perceived and manifests itself differently
among different racial and ethnic groups.
Only by better understanding the many manifestations of the
problem are we going to be better able to prevent it.
What we do know is that elder financial exploitation touches
the lives of millions of people of all ages,
both older people and the younger people who care
about and for them.
And the problem is growing.
As the 77 million baby boomers age,
the populations at greatest risk also are on the rise.
People 85 and over, about half of them who have some cognitive
impairment, are the fastest growing segment of the
population, and already 5.4 million people have dementia.
And we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg.
The New York Prevalence Study found that for every one case of
elder financial exploitation that comes to light,
another 44 go undetected.
So we need to begin creating collaborations
to measure the cost.
And we can begin to get a sense of the economic dimensions of
this multifaceted problem when we consider the following.
And I'll apologize in advance for giving you a laundry list,
but it's just sort of mind boggling when we start to
line them all up.
So Mark Lachs and colleagues a few years ago did a study in New
York showing that elder abuse victims,
including victims of financial exploitation,
are four times more likely to be admitted to a nursing home.
That has enormous implications for Medicare and Medicaid.
Providers that bill the public, bill public programs for care
they don't provide commit fraud.
But that fraud also exploits consumers who for decades have
paid their hard earned tax dollars to fund Medicare and
Medicaid only to be deprived of the services they are entitled
to when they need them the most, and they are the most vulnerable
and the least able to fight back.
There are consequential costs too.
Like in the Cathedral Rock Case.
So understand, under staffing and thus neglect at nursing
homes results in a 22 percent increase in
unnecessary hospitalizations.
Why?
Because neglect leads to serious health problems that require
higher levels and longer term care.
Financial exploitation robs victims of Clarence Peterson
of an estimated $2.9 billion a year.
And these cases raise tremendously complex
issues that require a balancing of autonomy and safety.
Often, they are born of just crushing loneliness and often
they are preventable.
In Utah, financial exploitation was found to cost elders and
businesses and government entities some $77 million
a year.
And that is the most conservative estimate.
That is just one state.
And it is the state with the most,
with the youngest population in the country.
That financial exploitation also pushed victims into higher rates
of dependence on Medicaid which is,
just makes sense because if you wipe out someone's assets they
are more likely to rely on Medicaid.
But also in, pushed them into dual eligibility for both
Medicare and Medicaid.
It also found that the more incapacitated the victim,
the more money they lost.
Older people whose assets are wiped out rely on public housing
or are more likely to rely on public housing and become wards
of the state.
Further draining stretched safety programs at the
state level.
Financial institutions as a result of financial exploitation
lose deposits when elder's accounts are wrongfully depleted
and are drawn into costly investigations
and controversies.
And when the bequests intended for charitable organizations and
cultural organizations are pilfered,
those losses deplete funds intended for the public good.
And have a ripple effect as well.
Abusive guardianships squander scarce court
and family resources.
Conversely, effective guardianships and appropriate
alternatives to guardianship avoid unnecessary
institutionalization and save Medicaid dollars.
They are unquantified losses as a result of power of attorney,
will, and rep payee fraud, another issue that we haven't
begun to get a handle on.
And then there, the ripple effects again,
exploited victims who lose their independence end up relying on
if they are not institutionalized,
if they don't go to the hospital or to the nursing home,
they are much more likely to end up relying on informal or formal
care givers at home.
As a result, those care givers, we know now about the huge cost
and toll, the health toll of care giving.
Those care givers often miss work, lose jobs,
and suffer serious health problems and mental health
problems themselves.
In other words, financial exploitation also has
devastating ripple effects through the generations
of families.
What is the total cost?
Surely, many billions.
We urgently need research on this issue,
and better ways to prevent the problem.
So we need you in the financial services community to help us
and to teach us.
Elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation is a moral blight
with a huge price tag.
What we know about it, lags 40 years behind child abuse,
and 20 years behind domestic violence.
We urgently need the efforts of the inter governmental bodies
like the Coordinating Council that Secretary Sebelius
announced this morning which is really a tremendously exciting
announcement and can do a lot of good.
In addition, the financial industry can play a critical
role in preventing and addressing this problem through
education, reporting, safe, putting in place safeguards,
early alerts, and the type of pioneering elder justice
philanthropy and private partner,
private public partnerships with which Wells Fargo has led the
way this morning along with Don Blandin's good work.
You know, the costs are hard to measure.
The savings of prevention are even more difficult to measure.
But it is the best defense.
And elder abuse is a largely preventable problem.
It is a problem where a modest investment of resources could
prevent untold suffering and yield vast cost savings.
We have spent countless billions of dollars to lengthen life.
It is time now to seriously invest in the,
in assuring the improved safety, well being,
and economic security in the years we have gained.
Thank you.
(applause)
Andy Mao: With the time we have left, we obviously want to invite
any questions that you guys have for the panelists.
But we also want to invite you to the extent you want to
highlight the best practices that you have in your own
communities or at your bank or at your local
community coalitions.
One of the topics that hasn't been talked about are the
financial abuse specialist teams which a number of communities
have developed.
Do, does anybody in the audience belong or participate
in a FAST team?
Laura, would you mind talking a little bit about that?
Or Mary?
Audience Member: Sure, what would you like to hear?
Andy Mao: Well, what are -- basically what are FAST teams?
And how do they work?
And how do they function in responding to financial abuse?
Audience Member: So I am certainly not an expert on FAST teams,
but I have had the pleasure of being on a number of FAST
teams in California.
And, of course, everyone knows the acronym stands for Financial
Abuse Specialist Teams.
Generally, they are if the county council allows for it,
public private partnerships between professionals in the
private industry who work in the,
who work in financial services, real estate, title companies,
and others joining forces with community non profits and local
leaders from law enforcement, adult protective --.
It has been, and they work, they work up cases.
Usually complex financial abuse cases together.
And they have an amazing impact in ways that those agencies
doing that work in silos just doesn't have.
It is much better for the victim.
How is that?
I actually thought FAST teams had something to do with you
know speedy cars when I first got into it.
So I was kind of --
Andy Mao: Perfect. How long has your FAST team been in place?
Audience Member: The San Francisco FAST team has been around for at least
a decade or more.
And Orange County I think about the same.
Andy Mao: Okay. Thank you very much.
A number of -- go ahead.
Did have you a question?
Audience Member: No.
Andy Mao: Please.
Joe Snyder: Hi. I am Joe Snyder from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I am the APS Director in Philadelphia.
And I started with the program with Wachovia when it was
Wachovia on a fraud prevention program with APS and Wachovia.
And we started Philadelphia and it spread to the 23 states that
Wachovia was in.
And during that time we stopped two million dollars from going
out the door.
And we saved over $62 million in assets protected.
That led to a breakfast in Philadelphia by the Mayor,
on a conversation on financial exploitation.
And we started a task force and I have a task force right now
with the, with the police department,
deputy police commissioner, district attorney's office,
vice president of a local bank, and legal service
provider in Philadelphia.
And we have done a lot of cross training and we are about to do
a public awareness campaign.
And we also share and work on cases together,
and which led to a number of prosecutions and recoveries.
Andy Mao: Great. Well, just a follow-up question.
How is it developing a relationship between
your APS and Wachovia?
I mean, was that an easy process where you're smiling --
Joe Snyder: Yeah, my partner, my former partner is right next to me.
So it was really, it was pretty easy.
I walked up and I knocked on a lot of doors in Philadelphia and
she was the only one who answered.
(laughter)
And so I went in and I said, you know, you should be doing this.
This is, this is what is happening in APS.
This is what is happening in financial exploitation in the
world, and we can do great things together.
And this will work.
And she had her lawyers and her, the rest of her company that,
this is Linda Mill by the way, that everything that I said.
And we said okay, let's start it in Philadelphia.
And we spent five days training the local network.
And it spread and they had actually a dedicated
elder abuse unit.
And one of the things we were proudest of is that in the 23
states that they are in, every APS worker knew the names of the
people in Wachovia's elder abuse unit.
And, and it was, it was actually real easy.
There was no real problems.
And I think it, there shouldn't be any problems today.
It is already worked.
We have done it before.
This should be across the country.
Andy Mao: That is wonderful. Thank you.
Linda, did you want to add anything about the
working relationship?
Linda Mill: Sure. I think the most important thing in the financial services
world is to you know start out slow.
We, we did a pilot in Philadelphia.
It was very successful.
We expanded it to Pennsylvania and then across the foot print.
And the real key as Joe said was having dedicated folks in
the front investigations unit.
That is where our elder abuse team was.
Because while APS was out there working with the client,
we were protecting the funds.
And I think that is probably the,
the biggest thing that I would urge financial institutions is
to do today is many are out there doing great work of making
the referrals, but not everybody is doing the investigation and
protecting the assets while APS is doing it's investigation.
So we need to help stop the bleeding and use our resources
and our expertise to do that.
And if I could just kind of divert.
After I left Wachovia, I actually now work full-time
for the Institute on Protective Services at Temple University
which is funded by the Pennsylvania
Department of Aging.
And what we are doing is trying to help boost our law
enforcement in the State of Pennsylvania and who I heard
talk about the need for forensic accountants out there.
I am a certified fraud examiner and I help law enforcement
throughout the state put together those cases.
So we need that assistance as well for law enforcement.
And I was happy to know just yesterday driving here,
I got a phone call that yesterday in Pennsylvania a
judge ruled to give a 92 year old woman who was financially
exploited by her 62 year old adopted son.
And yes, she adopted him at 62.
$200,000 in punitive damages.
So it was a real win yesterday.
Andy Mao: That is great. Yes.
Joy Solomon: I think one of the also important partnerships is
with civil legal attorneys.
Andy Mao: I am sorry.
Could you tell us who you are?
Joy Solomon: Yes, I am sorry. I am Joy Solomon.
I am the Director of the Weinberg Center at
the Hebrew Home.
Andy Mao: Great. Welcome.
Joy Solomon: We run an emergency shelter for elder abuse victims.
But one of the important partnerships is also with
civil legal attorneys when the criminal justice system
can't for various reasons prosecute cases that civil,
especially attorneys, work to do screening of their clients,
so that they are talking to their adult clients before they
are distributing their assets or making wills or creating other
financial documents.
That we have to educate lawyers as well who really are not aware
of undue influence and other things that are causing
financial, that they are kind of unknowingly participating in
financial exploitations of their clients.
So these are really important partnerships that we're working
on to train lawyers about this issue.
Andy Mao: That is great.
Hopefully, with the Missing Link Project,
we will be able to make some strides in that regard as well.
Charles, we were talking at lunch a little bit sort of
about the FTC also doing some work with civil legal aid in
terms of training.
Could you talk a little bit about that?
Charles Harwood: Yeah. Thank you, Andy.
I know we talked about the Missing Link and this morning
we announced the Missing Link Initiative which involves
legal services.
The FTC has been working with Legal Services Offices and
attorneys since about 2009 and we found it
to be a tremendous resource.
Because there are often times some of the first individuals
who see problems arising, because they deal on a one
on one basis with these folks.
And what we have been working with them to do is to,
is a couple of different things.
First of all, encourage them to make referrals to law
enforcement when they spot patterns and problems.
And secondly, we are working with them to provide additional
training to them on various consumer protection and consumer
law issues that, that, that, to help them do a better job
of representing their clients.
And the result of those efforts have I think really,
really been beneficial both for the FTC in terms of our
targeting of law enforcement problems,
but also for legal services attorneys.
Because it takes a little bit of the load off of them.
It gives them, it gives them new materials to use
with their clients.
And frankly, it gives them something else to point their
clients to in terms of another resource to work with.
Andy Mao: That is great. Thank you.
A question? Or comment?
Bob Roush: Bob Roush, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Since Mark mentioned Don Blandin a moment ago,
through a grant with the Investor Protection Institute,
we have had the good fortune to put on programs all over the
country that help health care providers learn to screen for
these vulnerabilities that make elders so highly at
much greater risk of financial exploitation than otherwise
might be the case.
And so I think that it bears mentioning that there are 20
federally funded geriatric education centers involved
in this.
Area health education centers.
These are all DHHS programs.
The State Securities Offices are,
have been invaluable in this.
Investor educators present with clinical educators.
We have put on 43 CME programs around the country.
We have reached 3,000 health care providers.
We hope to do that much more this coming year.
We have got a web based version coming out.
So it is an example, an example rather of a collaboration
between federal, state, local people in the health care
industry to try to get at some of this.
We can't do it all by ourselves.
And so again with, with everything that I have heard
today, I am emboldened I think and encouraged to know that we
are, I think we are on the right track.
Andy Mao: Thank you very much.
You raise an interesting point regarding state regulators.
I know that the FINRA Invest for Education Foundation has
been doing a lot of work and developing tool kits
and materials for that.
I believe Jerry Walsh is here.
Jerry, would you mind sharing with the audience some of the
programs and materials that you guys have developed?
Gerri Walsh: I am happy to. And thank you, Andy.
My name is Gerri Walsh.
I am the President of the FINRA Invest for Education Foundation.
And what Andy is referring to is our investor protection campaign
that we have been running.
We do the mission of the FINRA Foundation is to help Americans
get the tools and resources they need to make financially sound
decisions throughout their life span.
And we focus on under served and vulnerable audiences.
The Investor Protection Campaign takes a multi pronged approach
and we have been partnering with States Securities regulators,
with AARP and the AARP Foundation,
with local crime prevention and victim advocacy groups really to
do a number of things.
To train consumers to recognize the persuasion tactics that con
criminals use.
Understanding what a particular fraud du jour
is is helpful to a point.
But understanding the psychology that goes behind how those con
criminals really catch their prey, that is key.
And just knowing about it can help inoculate you against it
to a certain degree.
So we have DVD's, we have brochures that we are happy
to make available to anybody in this room that wants to
distribute them.
As I said, we have been partnering with state
organizations and others, but one of the more interesting
things that we are doing, we haven't yet reached
out to attorneys.
But we are going to.
That is on our list.
Andy Mao: We are always last.
Nobody likes us.
Gerri Walsh: I am an attorney and I forgot it.
I love lawyers. I do.
But we have been doing the, the crime prevention work first.
So we have been doing this sort of in modulated stages and we
have been working with federal agencies as well as the state
agencies so we have had a great deal of fabulous partnership
with particularly the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But we have also been reaching out to other federal agencies.
So thanks for the shout out.
If anybody is interested, saveandinvest.org.
Or you can contact me, Gerri.Walsh@FINRA.org.
Gerri is G-E-R-R-I.
Walsh is W-A-L-S-H.
And FINRA is F as in Frank, I, N as in Nancy, RA.org.
Thank you.
Andy Mao: Thank you.
We have a question that we have received online
from Steven Baker.
Who asks: What can prosecutors do when financial exploitation
is not criminalized under a state statute?
I don't know.
Page, do you have any thoughts on that?
What options we have?
Page Ulrey: Many states don't have specific elder financial
exploitation statutes, so we file those charges under our
theft statutes.
You can commit theft by lying to someone.
And if they give you money based on the lies you tell them,
that is a crime.
And that is a chargeable crime.
You can commit theft by taking money from someone
without their permission.
Or by embezzling it from them.
If you legally have authority to have the money and then you use
it for your own benefit, rather than for the elders.
So all of those forms of elder financial exploitation can be
charged under the regular theft statutes in all states.
Andy Mao: Great. Thank you. Yes.
Audience Member: I forget to mention one of our most important partners.
And that is NAPSA.
Kathleen Quinn and Joe Snyder.
We couldn't have done these programs without them and so
I want to make sure they get acknowledged.
Andy Mao: Yes, please.
And the two women up front.
Lisa Nerenberg: Thank you. In California --
Andy Mao: I am sorry, can you introduce yourself?
Lisa Nerenberg: Lisa Nerenberg with the California Elder
Justice Coalition.
We did a pretty intensive blueprint development process
in California, and there were a number of ideas that came up in
relation to elder financial abuse.
And I just wanted to mention that I don't think we have
talked too much about here today and that is the need for better
restitution recovery.
I think there has been this idea that perpetrators are all dead
beats and there is really no point in trying to go
after restitution.
But I think that there have been some really creative
attempts to do that.
OBC has, has taken a look at the issue.
I know Joe's program has done that as well.
Some of the elder courts that we are starting to see around
the country are starting to emphasize restitution.
So I think we can't let perp's off the hook.
Page mentioned also that victims of financial abuse don't usually
get compensation.
I think that is an area that we need to be looking at.
Also, mental health services.
Now, the peer counseling program I think is, is really terrific.
But I think victims often need more intensive kinds of mental
health treatment.
Especially from catastrophic losses.
And just a really -- I really want to emphasize the focus on
victim services and victims of scandal often need in addition
to restitution recovery, advocacy,
but advocacy with creditors, advocacy with,
with housing providers.
And lots of needs that haven't been addressed.
Andy Mao: Great. Thank you very much.
There are two folks up here.
If you could introduce yourselves for folks
in the audience.
Judge Patricia Banks: Certainly I will.
Hi, I am Judge Patricia Banks from the Circuit Court of Cook
County, Chicago, Illinois.
And I am the judicial link.
What we have done in Cook County starting last year,
the Chief Judge Timothy Evans appointed me to reside over a
new division and it is elder law and miscellaneous remedies.
And that division has as it's goal and objective to handle
ten judges throughout our system.
We have 16 divisions in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
And all of the cases dealing with elder abuse and neglect
will be under my jurisdiction.
But we'll have cases being heard through judges sitting in the
criminal division and dealing with a lot of the best practices
that I have been hearing today.
We are going to be incorporating those in our court.
We have a criminal component as well as a civil component.
We have an elder justice center and we also have
a mediation piece.
And it is too much to tell in a short time,
but we do have this going on.
We are going to kick it off air on July 2nd.
And again we are, we are really looking forward to doing this.
Andy Mao: Well, thank you very much.
On the topic of states court, I mean we have Brenda Uekert here
from the National Center Of State Courts who has also
developed some tool kits for both prosecutors and
state courts.
Brenda, do you want to talk a little bit about the tool kits
that you guys have developed?
Brenda Uekert: Thank you. Yes.
We have two tool kits.
One for prosecutors, one for courts.
I have to thank Page, Candy Heisler,
and Erin Baldwin for helping us with the prosecution piece,
since we are the courts.
We don't know that much about prosecution.
(laughter)
These, if technology works as it should,
will all be available on our Center For Elders and
the court's website tomorrow.
Eldersandcourts.org.
Both of these kits are designed so that you can download the
entire product.
You can also download checklists, forms,
victims surveys, all kinds of tools.
You can download it as a fillable PDF or you can
download it as a word.
So everything is created for you to take back,
put in your local terminology, enter your community resources,
and we really want you to use these tool kits.
And again, if, if, if all goes well you will find them at
www.eldersandcourts.org tomorrow.
Andy Mao: Great. Thank you very much.
There is a question, I am sorry.
There is a woman in the second row here who had a question.
Do you still or a comment?
Ma'am? Oh, no.
Julie Gunther: Thanks so much, my name is Julie Gunther.
I am from the state of Utah.
In Utah, we analyze the cost of financial exploitation.
We are releasing today our 2010 study based on analyzing these
important cases for adult protective services.
What is interesting is that the average person in Utah
loses about, that is a victim of financial exploitation
loses $85,000.
If that person has dementia, it increases
50 percent to $128,000.
If you are looking at a perpetrator who is a child,
it jumps from $85,000 to over $125,000.
One of the reasons why we have done this is to show our policy
makers on the local level that this is important because they
are inundated with lots of different agencies and entities
that are requesting money.
The second reason why we have done this is we wanted to figure
out how are perpetrators accessing this money.
Just like a police officer if there is neighborhood
burglaries, they want to figure out how this has happened.
So they can prevent it.
So we have analyzed some of the tactics that perpetrators are
using and then coming up with tools and warning
seniors about that.
One of the tools we have created which is the first in the nation
is a third party monitoring over bank accounts,
so that people can have a second pair of eyes watching
a senior's account.
But it is view only.
And one of the things that we have done is we have warned
seniors about some of the things that perpetrators are doing in
our book that we give away free to Utah seniors.
And then we have also for people who don't like to read books,
we have also created the first info graphic on financial
exploitation warning seniors with statistics and graphics
on what it is and how they can prevent.
And we'll also be releasing that at the end of the day today.
Andy Mao: The survey that you mentioned before,
is that publicly available?
Julie Gunther: The study?
Andy Mao: Yes.
Julie Gunther: It will be tomorrow.
Andy Mao: Wonderful. Excellent.
That sounds like it is going to be quite something.
There is a question in the back.
I think this should be our last question.
(inaudible) Okay.
Are they coming?
Mary Tucker: I am Mary Tucker.
I am with Wells Fargo advisers.
I am in the law department.
And I am, I work with a group that deals directly with our
financial advisers who are calling and asking,
what do I do?
Do I restrict?
Do we restrict this account or not?
We let -- do we let the senior take the money?
Do we let the power of attorney wipe this person out?
Can we restrict this account?
And I guess the question I have got that we get over and over
again is once we have reported to Adult Protective Services,
we know that there is, there is an art of delay.
And you know, creating opportunity for APS or law
enforcement to do something.
But it is very hard to manage an art.
It is very hard to he teach people on the front
line that art.
We need some protection.
We need something on the, like a protective order that is
available for people who are being physically abused.
We need something for people who are being financially abused.
Because if we don't have, if we can't point to a statute,
a rule, a court order, the fear of liability,
I don't -- I think Wells Fargo advisers,
we have done a good job of balancing the risk and the
benefit there.
But there are so many people on the front lines who are afraid.
If I restrict this account, I am going to be hit for
trouble damages.
I am going to be sued under this law or you know by that
regulator for denying an older person their right to access
their financial assets.
So I am hoping that there is some legislative relief out
there beyond just the art of delay.
Andy Mao: Thank you.
We have one more Twitter question that came in
and I will leave this to the panelists and you guys can
decide which one from Stacy Sanders.
And in a culture that celebrates youth,
how can we protect a growing population in life's twilight?
It seems like an appropriate question to end our panel with.
Anyone?
Don't make me at you MT. That seem like --
MT Connolly: By having an event like this every year.
Andy Mao: Right.
(applause)
MT Connolly: Not to mention the resources that will
be spread throughout the field.
Andy Mao: Excellent.
Well, it seems like that is the perfect way to end our panel.
Thank you very, very much for your time.
(applause)
Speaker: Thank you very much, Andy, and panelists.
As I promised this morning, we will give you a short break.
There are a couple of additional people that
I want to introduce you to.
So please take a break, but come back.
We'll do a short video and a couple more fabulous speakers.
This is an opportunity to take your picture
with Ricker Hamilton.
(laughter)
They have got 15 minutes to do it.
So we'll see you back here in 15.