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My brother is stealing my mother's social security money. Her income is about $1200.00 per month. She gave him POA, but he has removed her name from the bank account. She only needs about $400.00 monthly for rent, meds and food. However, when she asks him for money, he tells her that they don't have any. The money is being directly deposited into his personal account. Now, how are they able to afford a brand new Mercedes SUV and have 6 or 7 Airstream campers in their yard that they fix up and sell. They also went on a trip to Alaska and Egypt. We all live in North Carolina. My mom is 93 and sharp minded! Any suggestions and is this considered a felony offense?

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Reply to bhartley127
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bharltey127 My mother had her. S.S. check direct deposited and a pension and 45,000 it all was spent on her needs nothing more intact I paid out of my pocket for some of what she needed. Money does not go far. I was preparing for medicaid, spend down on her sole benefit had to be proven. .....I would go to the source. First the bank with your mother, ask if she has an account. If it were closed they should have a record of when and who closed it. Is it possible mom is not thinking clearly.. Get the facts from s.s. too. If what you are thinking is true This is definitely criminal ..... pos abuse of power, s.s. fraud and. Abuse!
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Reply to wuvsicecream
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If she is of sound mind he shouldn't have been able to do this. He is taking advantage of his POA. He can't be made payee without a doctor's order. Your Mom needs to revoke his POA and inform the bank. Better it be you then no one at all.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Thank you so much for your answer! We believe that in the past few years over $32,000.00 has been taken from her. That is a nice chunk of money. I will definitely look into this further this week. I have a great job that allows me not only to work from home, but I have an over abundance of vacation days. We don't specifically know the merchants and, to be honest, my brother and i used to be best friends until he decided to marry, (radio silence). Anyway, thank you so much for the support. It has been very much appreciated! Funny thing is, my brother is very smart, He is a civil engineer but retired at age 40, so some 22 years ago. His wife found a gold mine in him. Need I say anything further? To answer your question about how her funds were used, we will certainly be able to find that out, somehow. If there's a will, there IS a way! Thank you again! P.S. I only live about 2 hours from my mother, but my sister is about 7 hours away. She used to be her POA, but she thought that she was taking money from her. My sister and her husband are extremely well off, so there was no possible way that they needed her money. It was a thought put into her head by her son. My sister and I no longer claim him as a brother, for obvious reasons!
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Reply to bhartley127
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I found springing POA pretty worthless. Everything became better when i got durable. I find it very odd he could se easily make these changed. I would think SS should help
I had to go through the ringer when i simply wanted it changed to a different bank when we moved us and her to a more affordable state. She had to be put on the phone and i was told the conversation would be terminated if they thought i was coaching any answers. We barely made it through as she has memory issues. But we did barely.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Based on your latest post, someone has committed fraud if she wasn't involved in changing the signatories and can't access her money now. That's assuming that he was theoretically acting under the POA, although it seems as though he overstepped his authority.

Is the POA springing or durable? What specific authority does it give him (I'm assuming she has a copy)?

What I would do is see the attorney who drafted it, and make the appointment ASAP; call tomorrow. Have another POA drafted, naming someone else as proxy, even the attorney if he/she's willing. That takes the issue out of the family dispute scenario, at least while the issue is straightened out.

Ask the attorney to notify your brother that his authority as proxy has been terminated, that he should provide an accounting to your mother, via the attorney. That accounting should include anything and everything he's done, copies of documents he's executed, disposition of assets, etc.

Don't wait until next month; initiate a conference call with your mother to SS to address this now. In the meantime, consider some type of protection for her, such as an alarm system, medic alert pendant so she can just press the pendant button if she needs help (as in if he comes over and tries to get more money).

I'm not sure if elder and financial abuse are felonies. I think that theft can be, depending on the amount, i.e., less than a certain amount might be a misdemeanor but over a certain amount is a felony. And that may depend on state law as well. A police officer could help with clarification of these issues.

Apparently you live in NC, but not close to your mother? I think I would make this a priority and get to the banks ASAP to stop this now. Take her to the bank with you. Ask the bank for documentation as well - a copy of the signature card by which he opened the account, a copy of the close-out information, and then high tail it to the local police department.

Also, put a credit freeze on her credit files. Notify any banks or companies with which she has credit files, and ask that fraud notices be created. Then get new cards, but don't let him know.

If the attorney you consult can obtain them, get credit reports on him; that'll help identify where the money went.

Do you have any idea what he specifically did with her funds? If so, contact the merchants (but ONLY if you know for sure that her funds were used) and alert them that there are "issues" with funds he may have used and that an investigation will be requested. Ask for copies of checks, or other identifying information.

But make sure that you have all the facts before publicly accusing him of fraud and theft.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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My mother said that she no longer has access to her bank account and that her name has been taken off the account. She did not authorize this. My mother has told my sister and me everything that has been going on recently. She is NOT giving away her money to him! They do not live together, she does live in a elder care unit, but it not a living assist home. She told me that when she went to the bank one day that she was no longer on the account. She has absolutely no access to the account. Also, the SS $ is going directly into his personal account. Can he do this without her consent? You are providing some very eye-opening information. We are going to see her next month, go to her bank as well as the SS security office closest to where she lives. Hopefully, we will be finding out more information then. At this time, we believe that him and his wife (who has, by the way, destroyed our family) have possibly forged her signature at the bank. Thank you all for your responses! It is very much appreciated!
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Reply to bhartley127
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I'll be the third one to ask how you know about these financial transactions? Do you have access to bank statements? And how do you have access to his own personal account?

Your brother can NOT remove anyone's name from an account w/o (a) your mother's agreement for a new signature card to be executed, or (b) a Death Certificate.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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bhartley, who is telling you that your brother is stealing your Mother's social security money?

If Mom is giving away her money to your brother and Mom is sharp minded, then there isn't anything you can do, it is her money to use as she wish.

As for your brother's new car, and various trips, it could mean he is holding a lot of debt. Some people live for the moment and worry about payments later on.

You may want to talk to an Elder Law Attorney about how you feel that your brother is taking Mom's money, you would need to have copies of a paper trial to prove what is happening.
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Reply to freqflyer
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How do you know this?

Is your brother her "rep-payee" for Social Security?
If he does not use the money for her needs only, Social Security wants to know about it.
If they live together, and he is her caregiver, he can own things, or do business separate from her, unless it is called Supplemental SSI for low income (calculated to include his income and whoever lives in t h e household.)  Imo.

Maybe you need more information?
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