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More on Elder Abuse Fraud

Over a period of six years, Li Ching Lu isolated, abused and stole millions from a 74-year-old stroke victim for whom Lu served as a “caretaker.” Last month, Lu was convicted of financial abuse fraud and received four years in a California state prison.

Lu’s crime brings to light, once again, the subject of elder abuse fraud and what can and should be done to make sure this doesn’t happen to you or a loved one.

As reported June 7 by Forbes, the first question concerning Lu’s case is why didn’t anyone notice that she began to isolate her victim from her friends, family, financial advisors? Was no one checking on the victim regularly? And where were the investment advisors? Why didn’t they become alarmed – or at the very least, interested – that the victim herself was no longer in contact with them?

Lu’s crime occurred in California, where banks are mandated by state law to report suspicious activity to adult protective services or law enforcement.  That alone begs another question as the Forbes article points out: How could the caregiver manage to launder $4 million through six different banks, using 63 different accounts? If your bank were monitoring activity on all your accounts, it’s a reasonable assumption to expect that someone might notice the 74 year old’s tremendous and unusual withdrawals.

As for Lu, she used her victim’s money to buy a Porsche SUV, a home, a BMW, pay the tuition at her son’s private university, support her gambling habit and make large jewelry purchases.

Elder abuse fraud is growing crime. Every year, the elderly suffer $2.6 billion in financial losses.

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