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My mother has dementia/Alzheimers. Her nephew used this to his advantage to steal over $80,000 from her bank accounts. We reported it to the police 5 months ago but he still has not been arrested and charged. In the meantime her bank will not reimburse her money. Her nephew used a debit card, wrote out false checks and setup external transfers of funds from her account into his. I feel like he will get away with this. Meanwhile my mother has medical bills and pharmacy expenses including getting her into a program for her Alzheimers. Plus my disabled brother who lived with her is not receiving any income so he has needs that are an expense. The bank provided law enforcement with video surveillance of my cousin at the ATM and bank. He was never on her bank account so I'm shocked the bank allowed this.

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If the DA did subpoena the bank for records that’s a good sign that at least they are working on your case.
As far as your brother, how’s it going reapplying for SS? I certainly hope he is reinstated. Having another casualty from the “nephew from hell” is further heartbreak.
I so very much hope charges are filed against your nephew. It does take a long time for the wheels of justice to spin.
Take screenshots of nephews FB page although that too may be subpoenaed but your own screenshots should help the police.
I hope nephew is prosecuted to the full extent of the law. To sue the bank wound be a separate lawsuit for you, yes? Thus more lawyer fees out of pocket unless the attorney takes the case on contingency.
What a terrible situation you have had to face & dealing with this daily has to be stressful for you.
I wish you luck and speedy resolution. I am not sure it will restore the assets stolen but your reward may be seeing your nephew behind bars.
If you think nephew can’t pay the money back that’s probably where he lands (jail) but your family will still have to face that the money is lost.
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Reply to Shane1124
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Cleaning up the mess with your brother's benefits is a separate issue and I think you will just have to patiently follow procedure here. It is unfortunate that your mother was not declared incompetent - she would have more protections in place.  But US law greatly values autonomy so until it is clear that a person is declared incompetent it is assumed that they are in fact competent and if they choose to give access to their financials to a fraudster, presumably they were exercising their autonomy.  So, no crime.
It is so easy to let things ride as an adult begins cognitive decline - you hope for the best, you don't want to anger or hurt them, etc, etc., but when there are predators about, facing the reality of decline is best done sooner than later.
As for the bank, they are cooperating with the police, but until this gets determined if there is a crime - did your mom allow access to financials? they are not going to restore money.  Think about it - why should they?  They are not in the elder protection business, family is considered responsible for their elders, so will this play out, in legal not moral terms, as a crime or as a bad decision by elder?  You will have to do what you can to protect mom and brother, but the legal wheels take time to roll.
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My brother did the same thing to my parents. Stole all of their retirement funds funneling them through the Wells Fargo account he set up for this purpose. Remortgaged their condo twice with the same bank Wells Fargo taking out the cash. The police refuses to do anything saying it’s a Civil case not a crime AND the bank refuses to take any responsibility. Commonwealth investment was their IRA company as part of Fidelity and enabled my brother a Financial Planner to take out the money. Deposit it into his parents account (and the social security checks) and transfer directly into his Chase Manhatten account. Write checks. Take out cash. Use their credit cards - all for his family NOT to care for our parents. It’s u believable. I reported him to the IRS, local tax office, SEC, police, Adult Protective Services, got a lawyer. The whole system is set up to take advantage of old people. It’s disgraceful. I’m reporting him to the FBI Elder Fraud Abuse internet crime authority, his CPA partner and wife again to the IRS, Sociak Securuty Administration and anybody else I can find. He even changed the Title to their home so that Medicaid cannot recover their expenses if my widowed mother with severe dementia goes into a memory care facility. He changed the locks on their condo and mailbox stealing the mail. Forwarded their mail to his home several times. So many things it’s a nightmare. My father died of Parkinson’s but he created a 23 page financial POA 5 weeks before his death and made my mother with Frontotemporal lobe dementia sign it and registered it with his city court. I do not think the system wants to help and the resources are not available to help old people.
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igloo572 Dec 10, 2018
Horrified - for your situation which is different than the OPs, If your brother was a true stockbroker / financial advisor & affliated with a brokerage/ wire house, you file a complaint with FINRA. FINRA takes this type of issue pretty seriously. Also if he was with a brokerage / wire house, there will be a compliance officer within his firm you can file a findings review with.

But he’s not actually a stockbroker registered financial advisor, is he? He’s what..... like holds licenses to sell insurance? Those you file complaints with your State Dept of Insurance or Insurance Commissioner.

For the 5 visits to SS, so your mom with frontotemporal dementia went to SSA and totally on her own met with 1-on-1 with SS staff and she was able to be competent to request banking change for her direct deposit? If not and it’s just you trying to do this, SSA cannot change the existing direct deposit to another bank. Mom has to in person do this and appear competent and cognitive to do so. When I took my mom to SSA years ago, I had to stay in the waiting room and could not accompany her into the SS booth to meet with SS rep even though she asked that I sit with her. She was still ok mind wise so no issues. But SSA is super strict on the in person rules.
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I’d bet that situation is viewed as no crime or bank fraud as far as the bank in concerned. It’s as countrymouse described. He had access as she gave him the info needed for access. That’s his story and he’s going to stick with it. And unless amount involved 10k deposit no federally required paperwork.

Your mother will have to be willing to file charges against nephew & provide specific details in interviews as to why his actions could be a crime. Did she do this? Like file a police report and do interviews with DAs office?

If not, at this point in time, perhaps involve APS to open investigation on “endangerment against a vulnerable adult”.

HOWEVER, If your her DPOA & you knew your mom has dementia and this all happened while you were her POA, it could totally pose issues for you. As her POA you have a required “fiduciary duty”. If it happened while under your watch, you have responsibility in this cockup.

APS can notify SSA as to lack of fiduciary oversight. SSA does not recognize POAs, so SSA can - once notified by APS - require someone to become the “representative payee” for your mom in order for her to get her SS income unless your mom can go to SSA office and totally on her own appear competent and cognitive to run her financials. If your brothers falling from of SS disability programs are because you didn’t do a filing in time or provide documentation needed, SSA may determine that you are completely removed from anything for either your mom or your brother as you cannot be responsible enough for SSA standards.

This is serious stuff.
Pause to think about all this. Continuing to press DA on nephew, could in the long run pose issues for you to have any control over your mom’s or your brothers finances. Another family member gets it or state appoints guardianship for both of them.

Watch what you wish for.....
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Horrified Dec 10, 2018
That’s ridiculous. APS did nothing to help us. The DA did nothing to help us. The police did nothing. SSA continues to deposit my mothers social security check into the wrong bank account after FIVE in person visits to correct the account number. The guy who answered the phone at SSA fraud was older than my mother!!!
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If your cousin used your mother's debit card at an ATM, he must have had her PIN. To arrange the transfers, he must have had access to her account information. From the bank's point of view, your mother authorised these transactions by allowing the information to fall into your cousin's hands. Had the bank been formally notified that your mother was no longer able to operate her account(s)? Has your mother in fact been formally declared incompetent?

The difficulty with the prosecution could be in establishing that a crime has taken place. Wheedling one's aunt into giving one her money is the act of a slimeball but not necessarily a criminal. Unless it was already established that your mother was incapacitated, the law will assume she knew what she was doing. Protection is there for people who are certified as mentally disabled, with a formal declaration of incapacity, but not for those who are gullible or tender-hearted.

Moreover, if the rest of the family is picking up her bills and those of your disabled brother, there won't even be any incentive for the authorities to get excited about your mother's losses and put their weight behind getting her money back.

I hope the lawyer will be able to get things moving for you. Meanwhile, what does your cousin have to say for himself? I imagine you're not in the mood for a friendly chat, but is anyone in the family in touch with him?
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worriedinCali Dec 10, 2018
the family paying the bills isn’t anything the authorities here are concerned about. It has nothing to do with the investigation and whether or not someone will be prosecuted.
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Unfortunately, I agree with Tothill.
Have you been told the bank will reimburse your mother for the $80k if your nephew is found guilty? I’m not familiar with that as an outcome. Usually the person is prosecuted and expected to pay restitution unless you are suing the bank as well, but I can be wrong. If the funds were insured I guess that’s a possibility. But the bank might put the burden of proof back on your family to prove the money was stolen if no charges are brought by the DA and even if they are as the DA needs the proof of amounts stolen.
Its a very mean world out there.
Have they provided the DA the cancelled checks so you can prove forgery?
Banks usually charge for that info these days. They don’t mail out cancelled checks anymore in statements.
I would pursue getting your brother his SS benefits back although it will take legwork to get him to doctors, it’s worth it.
I would proceed as if the case won’t move forward. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The DA may conclude there is nothing to be prosecuted thus you have to cover your bases to be prepared.
Will your nephew have the resources to pay what he stole back if you win?
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shigatsu76 Dec 17, 2018
My mother's nephew has been posting on Facebook several new cars he recently purchased. Me thinks he probably has no resources to payback what was stolen.

The detective sent me an update. They subpoenaed the bank two weeks ago and are waiting for records. Hopefully the DA will receive proof and cancelled checks.
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My personal experience with a financial crime, is that they are rarely prosecuted. Unless it is tax evasion, then the government has loads of resources to put towards prosecution.
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Because investigations take time. While it may be cut and dry to you, it’s not to the police or the DA. They have to get their ducks in row. The police have to do their investigation and then send everything over to the DAs office and the DAs office will review everything and sometimes they have to have the detectives do more interviews and gather more information. The DAs office may do their own investigating before they decide whether or not to formally charge anyone. If they do file charges, a warrant is issued. We are now going into the 5th month since my husband filed a report against his mother’s long time boyfriend for grand theft and elder abuse and other crimes. Everything has been given to the DAs office but they have not decided whether or not to issue a warrant. The process is very long.
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I guess you need to talk to someone above the police. I would think this is grand larceny. Maybe a DA?

Why doesn't your disabled brother have SS disability or SSI? Is he under 18? If not, Mom is not responsible for him financially. Even living with her he can get help.
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shigatsu76 Dec 9, 2018
My brother use to get SS but my mother forgot to mail out paperwork and now its become a hassle to reinstate his benefits. Dealing with SS office, going back and forth, being told he qualifies but nothing gets done. I am at my wits end. I contacted a lawyer so hopefully we make some progress.
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