Why will Adult Protective Services not prosecute blatant financial abuse?

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I'm told it "would not be beneficial"? My Sister has used her authority as Mom and Dad's Power of Attorney to support herself for several years. Two years ago, when utilities started being cut off for non payment, I contacted Social Security Fraud. They contacted the county Adult Protective Services. The county told me there was "not enough evidence" and they closed the investigation. Eventually, my Sister moved in with my Dad and "hired" unemployed homeless people as "caregivers". I contacted the county APS dept and was told they "could not come between sister". After three months, my Dad wound up in the hospital. He called me, I picked him up and he has not gone home. (She and the homeless people have moved out of Dad's house. My Mom has been in a nursing home for several years) The hospital, Dad's relatives and I contacted the county APS. This time, Dad changed his power of attorney. We have found that my Sister has taken out a second mortgage on the house, left a considerable credit card debt, etc, etc. Our county's Adult Protective Services has closed this investigation stating "the situation has changed and the client is now safe"!!!!!
Is Elder abuse not a crime? My Dad will probably end up on Medicaid and the house will be foreclosed on. I am grateful Mom and Dad are safe but it makes me angry that they apparently have no rights. Is it socially acceptable to rob the old and sick? Everytime I see "Report Elder Abuse", I feel sick.

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APS is about and only about safety and health, imminent harm/life threatening. You have to use legal and police avenues to deal with the mess that Sister created. It takes court action to remove someone as POA for failure to live up to their duties as POA, unless they willingly resign or the person is competent to change it and does so.

No, it's not fair. When someone makes a bad POA decision, the consequences can be terrible and often irreversible. I am surprised you were not given an option for a civil suit, unless sister no longer has any assets to recover. What your sister did was wrong and unacceptable, but possibly was only marginally illegal (as far as best interests of the person for whom she had POA), and not everybody gets away with these things, but some certainly do. And then, even more unfair, if there is an issue of gifting because of these expenditures that were clearly for her benefit and not Dad's, a penalty as far as Medicaid is concerned is possible. Maybe your documentation will help with that, but it could go either way.

I would say make sure the legal help you used is familiar enough with elder law to give you correct guidance, and I am so sorry this happened to you and your dad.
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Get a lawyer, go to the police, this is fraud. APS doesn't deal with this. good luck. Maybe 2nd mortgage can be disallowed. Bankruptcy will wipe out credit card debt.
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Our attorney said "it was not financially beneficial" for the county to go forward with prosecution. This was the 2nd investigation. There was abundant evidence during both investigations. This is my point. It can be proved, it isn't "worthy" of prosecution. My impression is that our situation is not unusual, that it is socially acceptable to empty out an elderly person's assets and dump their care on society? Is anyone convicted of elder abuse and fraud? Are my impressions wrong?
Thank you for the opportunity to share and vent. We are moving on and I am enjoying the time I have left with my parents. I have the received the greatest gift, an appreciation for the family I have left.
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"not enough evidence" so they closed the case.
Good advice:Gather as many documents as you can and go to the police. Contact you State agencies.
What advice is your attorney giving you,have you talked with a legal aide agency
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I appreciate the suggestions. I feel that I have followed all feasible options for our situation. The frustration I am feeling is with a system that ALLOWS this to happen. The bank knew, my Dad knew, I knew. We all felt powerless to stop her. I spoke with an attorney a couple of years before things escalated. He said she would make my Dad's last years miserable fighting this out in court (and she would have). I do not understand why there is no accountability. If fraud and abuse are suspected, why can the POA not be forced to produce records before things get out of hand? When APS finally became involved, she refused to cooperate. That was the end of it. ALL responsible tax paying citizens are picking up the tab for these crimes against the elderly.
I am more than grateful that my parents survived and are being cared for. We have so much to be grateful for. I wonder how many sick, elderly helpless people are not so fortunate?
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Gather as many documents as you can and go to the police. It would be helpful if you can use a smartphone to take a picture of the dpoa if your father has a copy. Go online to county records and print out the deed to the home, how registered as well as any mortgages...I believe they will be filed as well. If you have access to medical records, Medicare etc it is easy to see if your dad was hospitalized around the time if the signings and potentially if he has health issues what his cognitive state may have been around those times as well.
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In my state, it's possible to file a Petition for Incompetency, if you believe the person needs a guardian. You can ask the court to appoint the guardian, if you aren't interested in doing it. Once that is done, the Guardian (the court has a list of people they use are pre-approved for this purpose) can follow the paper trail and sort out what has happened and maybe set things in motion to straighten it out or hold people accountable.
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Next to last paragraph should read: ".....so we can offer advice..." sorry.

Thinking more on the situation, your father might have civil recourse against your sister if he can prove that she abused her authority by incurring debts. Again, the question turns on his mental status and the DPOA and what was required to activate her authority, i.e., a medical statement attesting to his dementia, if he had been diagnosed.
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It may be that APS is only focusing on the physical aspect of your father's safety, perhaps because fraud is a criminal matter. Have you discussed any of these situations with the local police?

When was the second mortgage recorded? Was it while your sister still held powers under the DPOA? Was your father aware of this at the time?

Were the powers under the DPOA contingent on both, or either of your parents being considered not competent to manage their affairs? If not, then your sister may have acted without legitimate authority. Some DPOAs require determination of lack of cognizance to handle one's affairs before the proxy can step in and act. This then would be key to her legitimate authority to encumber your father's house.

If she acted without proper authority, then you probably have a fraud situation.

Was your father aware of any of this when it was occurring? Does he have any dementia or is he cognizant enough to handle his own affairs?

This is the house that your father lived in but no longer does? Is it now vacant? Who's making payments on the first mortgage, and on the second, if payments are being made?

If the mortgage was signed and recorded while she was proxy, acting legitimately as stated above, I'm not sure you can do much, unfortunately. . If it was recorded after he changed the DPOA, and if she was notified, and/or if she was acting under the DPOA without the necessary prerequisites having been met, then I don't understand how a bank could accept her alleged authority. I believe than a fraudulent situation would exist.

Unless your father was a co-signer for her credit card, I'm not sure why that would affect him. There are different methods of holding credit cards jointly.

The section "Authorized users vs. joint account holders" explains liability for the different methods of sharing a credit card:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/sharing-credit-card-accounts-1.aspx

Is your father being dunned by debt collectors for your sister's credit card debt?

Have you placed either fraud alerts or security freezes on either of your parents' credit files? If not, do so immediately. If you need guidance on that, just post back and say so.

As to your comment on the apparent lack of rights of your parents, if in fact your sister was acting legitimately under a DPOA, it would be presumed that she was doing so with their permission. That's an unfortunate reality.

I'm hoping you can provide some information that would indicate your sister was acting illegitimately so we can offer advance on how to proceed.

I'm so sorry to learn of this very sad and financially abusive situation.
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